The federal government has approved the state’s request to expand substance use disorder (SUD) treatment options for MaineCare members, improving access to and quality of SUD treatment in Maine and advancing the Department of Health and Human Services’ work to bridge medical and behavioral health care. Maine will begin implementing the waiver in February, joining 29 other states.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved DHHS’s waiver application, allowing federal Medicaid reimbursement for SUD treatment in facilities with more than 16 beds. This will allow residential SUD treatment facilities to add more treatment slots and support new providers in beginning to serve MaineCare members.

Maine’s goals for the initiative extend beyond supporting residential SUD treatment facilities to serve additional members; DHHS aims to improve access to and quality of treatment for all adult MaineCare members with SUD, with a focus on increasing engagement in SUD treatment, especially in community settings; reducing overdose deaths, particularly those due to opioids; reducing preventable or medically inappropriate hospital visits; and improving access to care for physical health conditions among MaineCare members receiving SUD treatment.