Friday Five: Medicaid work requirements blocked; opioid treatment options may expand

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July 06, 2018

In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about opioid legislation and treatment, the court battle over Kentucky’s Medicaid work requirements, how Medicaid can support families more effectively, and the latest farm bill passed by the Senate.

1. Federal legislative proposals related to Medicaid and opioids: What to watch

Proposed legislation dealing with substance abuse issues is moving forward in both the House and the Senate. This issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation compares the provisions of the SUPPORT Act (House) and HEAL Act (Senate). Other legislation addressing opioids that is still pending in both committees will need to be reconciled before final passage.

2. Treatment for opioid abuse grows, but many on Medicaid don’t receive it

After buprenorphine was approved as a medication to treat opioid addiction, the number of Medicaid members receiving medication-assisted treatment increased. But according to US News and World Report, a new study shows significantly lower rates of treatment among black, Hispanic and low-income patients.

3. Federal court strikes KY 1115 Medicaid waiver work requirements

A federal court has blocked implementation of Kentucky’s Medicaid work requirements, finding that the administrative challenges and barriers for low-income individuals would keep them from accessing coverage. CMS has expressed disappointment with the court’s decision. According to Health Payer Intelligence, other states with work requirement waivers may also face legal challenges.

4. Medicaid is not just for doctor’s visits: Innovative early childhood funding strategies

This blog post from the Center for Health Care Strategies discusses ways that Medicaid can support families outside of traditional medical services by also addressing their social and economic needs. This includes funding initiatives in education, transportation, housing, home visitation programs and more.

5. U.S. senate passes sweeping farm bill by wide margin

The Senate passed a bipartisan farm bill last week that widely differs from the House version. According to the Star-Herald, the Senate version does not include changes to food stamp work requirements, preserves a conservation program, and limits farm subsidy payments.


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