The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today announced a new Section 1115 waiver policy that allows states to design demonstration projects that increase access to treatment for opioid use disorders and other substance use disorders. CMS’s new demonstration policy would allow state Medicaid programs to reimburse for substance abuse treatment provided at inpatient facilities with more than 16 beds otherwise prohibited by the current Institutions for Mental Diseases exclusion. While the new policy will provide states with an expedited review process, it does require that states submit a detailed implementation plan that articulates how they will meet the new policy’s specific goals and milestones to improve OUD and SUD treatment and reduce opioid related deaths. In addition to the implementation plan, states also must comply with periodic reporting and evaluations. CMS also announced approval of New Jersey and Utah’s 1115 demonstration waivers under the new policy.

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