Concord, N.H. – With a fiscally responsible, balanced budget in place, Governor Hassan has made clear that it’s critical to get right back to work to build on the state’s efforts to combat the heroin epidemic and reauthorize Medicaid Expansion.
Abby Shockley, executive director of the New Hampshire Alcohol and Other Drug Service Providers Association, told the Associated Press, "Medicaid expansion kind of allowed substance misuse providers to go from 0 to 60 from a service standpoint.”
On what would happen if Medicaid Expansion isn’t reauthorized, Shockley added, "I have nightmares about this… I just honestly don't know how the system wouldn't completely collapse."
Click here for the full AP story or see excerpt below:
Associated Press: Substance abuse crisis likely to help shape debate on continuing Medicaid expansion
As lawmakers prepare for next year's political battle over Medicaid expansion, supporters said the state's ability to tackle a growing drug abuse problem will be dramatically reduced if the program comes to an end.
"Medicaid expansion kind of allowed substance misuse providers to go from 0 to 60 from a service standpoint," said Abby Shockley, executive director of the New Hampshire Alcohol and Other Drug Service Providers Association.
Unlike traditional Medicaid, the expansion program covers a variety of substance abuse treatment and recovery programs. Providers say the Medicaid money now coming in is helping them respond to a growing need for services. But the program is set to expire at the end of next year if lawmakers don't vote to continue it.
… "Expanding treatment is an urgent need," Gov. Maggie Hassan said Monday at the groundbreaking ceremony for a new treatment facility in Franklin. "We have providers who tell us they are ready to expand if they knew Medicaid expansion was happening and was going to be fully authorized and permanent."
… New Hampshire's Medicaid expansion plan covers screenings, counseling and a number of other treatment and recovery programs. Between September 2014 and March 2015, roughly 1,800 people insured by Medicaid expansion accessed substance abuse services.
The extra money matters, providers said.
"It makes a difference (when) making decisions about providing services long-term (and) being able to afford to do that," said Karen Van Der Beken, chief development officer for care provider Easter Seals.
… If the increased money from Medicaid expansion goes away, providers who make these changes could be left with costs they can't afford.
"I have nightmares about this," Shockley said. "I just honestly don't know how the system wouldn't completely collapse."
Click here for the full AP story.