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Vermont Amends Federal Medicaid Waiver to Improve Treatment for Substance Use Disorder

June 7, 2018

Montpelier, Vt.– Vermont is pleased to announce today that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved an amendment to Vermont’s Global Commitment to Health 1115 Demonstration waiver that authorizes the State to receive federal Medicaid funding for treatment services offered at inpatient facilities provided to Medicaid enrollees to treat addictions to opioids and other substances.

“Addiction and the impact it has on communities and families is felt throughout Vermont,” said Governor Phil Scott. “I appreciate the hard work of our Agency of Human Services and our federal partners at CMS in providing this important approval to ensure all Vermonters have access to the care they need when they are seeking treatment for addiction.”

The approval of this amendment allows Medicaid to pay for inpatient residential treatment for addiction, which is not allowed currently under federal law, and removes the mandatory sunset of Vermont’s current financial arrangement. Absent this amendment approval, Vermont would be required to begin phasing down federal Medicaid participation for substance use disorders (SUD) treatment in a residential setting, in 2021 and phase out completely at the end of 2025.

From CMS Administrator Seema Verma, “I applaud Vermont on their commitment to expanding access to treatment services for Vermonters receiving Medicaid services. As part of this demonstration, the state will strengthen its continuum of services to treat addictions to opioids and other substances.”

“I want to thank Administrator Verma and her team at CMS and my team at the Agency of Human Services for their work on this to ensure continued access to care for Vermonters” said Al Gobeille, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Human Services. “Approval of this amendment to our waiver expands on the successes we’ve had so far in fighting the opioid epidemic with the necessary flexibility granted under our Global Commitment to Health Waiver.”

For more information about Vermont’s Global Commitment to Health Waiver, please click here and to view the CMS approval letter and waiver documents, click here.