Auditor’s report confirms necessity of Medicaid expansion
A recent report from Ohio Auditor Dave Yost confirms the necessity of Ohio’s 2014 Medicaid expansion in providing access to services that support recovery from addiction. For example, the report highlights the number of Ohioans with access to medication-assisted treatment increased from 6,500 before the expansion (in 2010) to 48,000 after the expansion (in 2016). “Because addiction leads to job loss and with it the loss of private, commercial insurance,” says the Auditor, “many with addictions fall to Medicaid for opioid addiction treatment.”

The Auditor’s report not only confirms that Ohio Medicaid effectively links individuals to the recovery services they need, it also verifies that Ohio’s Medicaid providers are engaged in responsible prescribing practices. For example, opioid prescriptions for Medicaid recipients in Ohio are shorter in duration than the national trend in the commercially insured population, there are virtually no long-duration opioid prescriptions for Medicaid recipients in Ohio, and almost all opioid prescriptions written for Ohio Medicaid recipients are low dosage.

The report also describes the increased cost associated with providing necessary recovery services during a national opioid crisis. Beginning July 1, these costs will be managed by Ohio Medicaid’s five private sector managed care plans. For Medicaid overall, the managed care plans have assisted the state in holding per person Medicaid spending growth below two percent in each of the past four state fiscal years. As a result, more Ohioans can receive the critical recovery services they need within a well-managed and sustainable budget.