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Federal planning grant to increase addiction treatment capacity among Medicaid providers   

October 9, 2019

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently awarded the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services a $3.58 million planning grant to increase the treatment capacity of Medicaid providers to deliver substance use disorder treatment and recovery services to Delawareans in need. Delaware was one of 15 states to receive the 18-month planning grants to increase addiction-related services through:

• An ongoing assessment of the state’s SUD treatment needs.
• Recruitment, training and technical assistance for Medicaid providers who offer SUD treatment or recovery services.
• Improved reimbursement for and expansion of the number or treatment capacity of Medicaid providers.

“We are grateful to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for providing this technical assistance to Delaware during the ongoing opioid crisis,” said Gov. John Carney. “We also appreciate the members of our congressional delegation supporting this critical work to increase our treatment capacity of Medicaid providers statewide.”

The Medicaid planning grant helps to meet priorities for Delaware’s treatment system outlined in 2018 recommendations from researchers and clinicians at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In April 2017, DHSS Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker had asked Johns Hopkins to conduct a review of Delaware’s addiction treatment system. In July 2018, the Johns Hopkins team issued a 33-page report that proposed four main strategies:

• Increase the capacity of the treatment system.
• Engage high-risk populations in treatment.
• Create incentives for quality care.
• Use data to guide reform and monitor progress.

Dr. Elizabeth Brown, medical director for the Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance, said the funding will be used for data analysis, a rate review and reimbursement design, expanding the provider pool, and stakeholder engagement.

Anyone struggling with substance use disorder should call DHSS’ 24/7 Crisis Services Helpline to be connected to trained crisis professionals who can discuss treatment options. In Kent and Sussex counties, call 1-800-345-6785. Individuals and families also can visit www.HelpIsHereDE.com to find addiction treatment and recovery services in Delaware and nearby states.