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Maine to pay addiction treatment providers more per patient - Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Facilities that provide treatment for substance use disorder will be reimbursed at a higher rate for Medicaid patients they treat, Maine Gov. Janet Mills announced Tuesday.

Some $2.1 million set aside in the budget passed in July will go toward making the payments to a range of facilities, including detoxification providers and halfway houses, the Portland Press Herald reported.

The increase will take effect Nov. 1. Detoxification providers will get $385 per person per day, up from $217. The reimbursement rate for halfway houses will increase from $106 per person per day to $165.

Depending on their classification, reimbursement rates for other residential rehab facilities will increase between 28% and 39%. There are about 300,000 Mainers who are covered by Medicaid, and thousands of them seek treatment for substance use disorders each year.

Maine suffered a record number of overdose deaths in 2020, with 502 people dying. Many of those deaths were attributed to the synthetic opioid fentanyl. In the first six months of this year, 304 people died from confirmed or suspected overdoses, putting the state on track to see another record breaking year in overdose deaths.

“Our state is diminished every time we lose a person to a drug overdose, and my heart breaks for their friends, family, and community members,” Mills said in a statement. “I want every person in Maine to have the opportunity to live a happy and healthy life and to contribute to the success of our state.”

Malory Shaughnessy, executive director of the Alliance for Addiction and Mental Health Services, said she hoped the rate increases will mean more people can get treatment.

“For the last few years, the demand has far outstripped access and many people have languished on wait lists trying to get help — and many have overdosed or ended up in emergency rooms,” she told the newspaper.