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Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

Action Needed: Ask Your Legislator’s Support for Breaking Addiction Act

August 21, 2014 | Addictions | Medicaid | Comments
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Legislation before Congress would permit Medicaid payment for services provided in certain residential substance use treatment centers, helping to expand low-income Americans’ access to care. The National Council supports this legislation and encourages Capitol Connector readers to ask your Representatives to sign on as cosponsors of the Breaking Addiction Act.

Current law – known as the “IMD exclusion” – prohibits the federal government from paying for Medicaid services provided to patients with behavioral health conditions who are in the care of certain inpatient or residential institutions. Originally intended to prevent states from warehousing individuals with mental illness in institutions, the payment exclusion has posed a challenge for some residential mental health and substance use treatment centers.

The Breaking Addiction Act of 2014 (H.R. 5136) would establish a narrow exception to this payment prohibition, allowing reimbursement for services provided in certain residential substance abuse treatment facilities. If passed, this bill would expand patients’ access to clinically appropriate care provided in their own communities.

Take Action to Support the Breaking Addiction Act

To help the Breaking Addiction Act move quickly to passage, we need additional bipartisan cosponsors. Please take two minutes today to ask your Representative for his or her support!