Governor Hassan & Treatment Provider Highlight Importance of Medicaid ExpansionConcord, N.H. – Yesterday, as Governor Maggie Hassan and local officials broke ground on a facility expansion in Franklin to add new substance abuse treatment beds, both the Governor and treatment provider highlighted the critical importance of re-authorizing the state's successful Medicaid Expansion program.
The Concord Monitor reported, “While Hassan applauded the new treatment beds, she said reauthorizing the state’s Medicaid expansion program is key to unlocking more resources to combat substance abuse. ‘Expanding treatment is an urgent need,’ Hassan said. ‘We have providers who tell us they are ready to expand, if Medicaid expansion is happening.’”
The Farnum Center’s Cheryl Wilkie also told the Monitor that Medicaid Expansion has “been a very big gift to the state,” adding, “It was an increase to our financial ability to do things, and then it added services that never existed.”
The Associated Press noted that Governor Hassan also "highlighted other efforts by her office and lawmakers to combat the growing problem. Among them: Increasing access to the opioid antidote naloxone, starting a prescription drug monitoring program and expanding mental health services. The state is also evaluating the state's licensing process for residential programs to make it easier for facilities to become licensed."
See coverage roundup below:
Concord Monitor: More beds for substance abuse treatment coming online in Franklin
The Easter Seals Farnum Center plans to add 62 new beds in Franklin to treat people with drug addiction, a year after a record number of people died from overdoses.
“We have watched way too many people die from this disease,” said the Farnum Center’s Cheryl Wilkie, at a ceremonial groundbreaking in Franklin on Monday. “As a treatment provider, it is important for us to make sure that people get what they need to find out how amazing how they are, how great they are, and focus them on the things they need to do to stay clean and sober.”
… While Hassan applauded the new treatment beds, she said reauthorizing the state’s Medicaid expansion program is key to unlocking more resources to combat substance abuse.
“Expanding treatment is an urgent need,” Hassan said. “We have providers who tell us they are ready to expand, if Medicaid expansion is happening.”
The state’s Medicaid expansion program is set to expire at the end of 2016, unless lawmakers vote to renew it.
The program offers insurance coverage to low-income adults, including substance abuse benefits, and gives providers a reliable payment stream to cover addiction treatment services.
Wilkie said Medicaid expansion, formally known as the New Hampshire Health Protection Plan, has “been a very big gift to the state.”
The daily reimbursement for treatment under Medicaid is $180, she said, as opposed to the $150 daily rate that state substance abuse grants covered.
“It was an increase to our financial ability to do things, and then it added services that never existed,” she said. [Full story]
AP: Easter Seals plans 62-bed expansion for N.H. drug treatment
… Hassan said increasing access to treatment is a top priority for the state, and she highlighted other efforts by her office and lawmakers to combat the growing problem. Among them: Increasing access to the opioid antidote naloxone, starting a prescription drug monitoring program and expanding mental health services. The state is also evaluating the state's licensing process for residential programs to make it easier for facilities to become licensed.
Substance abuse is the state's "most serious public health and safety concern," Hassan said.
Hassan said that continuing the state's Medicaid expansion is the best way to preserve and increase treatment options. The state's expansion program provides coverage for substance abuse services, something traditional Medicaid historically has not covered. The state's expansion plan is set to sunset at the end of next year, and lawmakers will debate whether to reauthorize it in the upcoming session. [Full story]
WMUR: Franklin project aims to expand drug treatment options
More help is coming for those battling heroin addiction in New Hampshire, as officials broke ground Monday on a new treatment facility in Franklin.
… "This is our most serious public health and safety challenge in the state of New Hampshire," Hassan said.
Hassan helped kick off the renovation project headed up by the Easter Seals. The renovated facility is scheduled to open in February, and it will take patients on Medicaid.
… New Hampshire's drug czar, Jack Wozmak, said the state has been divided into 13 public health networks to determine where resources are needed. Coordination facilitators have been hired to evaluate each area.
"That is going to help us identify within each public health region what treatment is available, and that will help shape our response regionally," Wozmak said. [Full story]
NH1: Franklin substance abuse facility expanding, adding 62 beds for NH treatment
A groundbreaking ceremony was held Monday for an expansion at The Farnum Center North campus, which will soon have an additional 62 beds at its substance abuse treatment residential facility.
… What we've done so far has been a good start but we're obviously here today because we know we need to do more," said Gov. Maggie Hassan.
… When asked what her advice is to families who are seeking immediate treatment to help a loved one, Governor Hassan said they should use the state website to get information about treatment center locations and what type of insurance they accept.
Hassan also expressed concern about the 2017 deadline for Medicaid expansion, which she says keeps treatment facilities from expanding or coming to New Hampshire. [Full story]