Ohio’s U.S. Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown are proposing a major policy shift for residential treatment facilities. The bipartisan proposal gets rid of the Institutions for Mental Disease exclusion, which bans any additional Medicaid funding for treatment centers with more than 16 beds.
Addiction recovery advocates say the change in Congress will help treatment centers open their doors to more people in need.
“This is a really pivotal moment in the behavioral health field and our ability to respond appropriately as communities to people recovering from addiction and managing their mental health recovery as well," says Lori Criss with the Ohio Council of Behavioral Health and Family Service Providers.
The measure is part of a larger bill addressing opioid addiction and treatment, which has passed the U.S. House and awaits a U.S. Senate vote. It would eliminate the 16-bed rule for five years, giving Congress a chance to examine how much it might increase costs before possibly making a permanent change.