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CMS Approves Minn., Neb. Waivers to Treat Substance Use Disorders

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approved Section 1115 waivers in Minnesota and Nebraska that expand access to treatment for opioid use disorder and other substance use disorders (SUDs).

Under these five-year demonstration projects, which began July 1, these states are approved to receive Medicaid matching funds for treatment in facilities that qualify as institutions for mental diseases (IMDs).

In Minnesota, Medicaid-eligible individuals will receive enhanced mental health services through the state’s certified community behavioral health clinics. The clinics will receive temporary expenditure authority to increase SUD identification, initiate treatment, and grow engagement. The Nebraska demonstration will expand existing substance abuse services to more appropriate treatment locations, including residential facilities.

With the approval of these waivers, 24 states have launched demonstration projects to improve SUD treatment, with promising results. Virginia reported a 4 percent decrease in acute inpatient SUD admissions during the first 10 months of waiver implementation.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Emily Schweich is a senior communications associate for America's Essential Hospitals.

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