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i_opioidsubstance_2017a_2017-08-22t09:36:32z3 Hearing Summary

Date: 08/22/2017

Location: RM 271


Medicaid Coverage for Opioid Medications and Addiction Treatment


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11:34 AM -- Medicaid Coverage for Opioid Medications and Addiction Treatment

Gretchen Hammer, Colorado Department Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF), provided a general overview of Colorado's Medicaid program and a handout to the committee (Attachment E). She explained that Medicaid serves about 1.2 million individuals in Colorado. Referring to slide 6 in the handout, Ms. Hammer spoke about the Medicaid clients that are impacted by opioid misuse. She stated that Medicaid clients have a higher chance of receiving treatment for drug misuse and abuse.


11:41 AM

Dr. Judy Zerzan, HCPF, discussed the number of Medicaid clients who died as a result of an opioid overdose. Referring to slide 8 of the handout, she spoke about the various state initiatives established to combat the opioid crisis. Dr. Zerzan responded to questions from the committee regarding strategies employed by Medicaid to balance the misuse of opioids and the need to treat acute pain.

11:52 AM

The committee and Ms. Hammner discussed the unique needs in rural areas of the state related to substance use disorders and
the practice of using pain as the fifth vital sign.

11:57 AM

Cathy Traugott, HCPF, addressed additional concerns about pain as the fifth vital sign.

12:00 PM

Dr. Zerzan continued her presentation. She discussed treating long-term pain and addiction. She explained that Medicaid provides coverage for MAT, social detoxification services, targeted case management, and individual, group, and family counseling. She discussed the cost of the various treatments.

12:11 PM

Committee discussion followed about the need to provide wraparound services to individuals with drug addiction.

12:13 PM

Dr. Zerzan discussed House Bill 17-1351, which requires HCPF and DHS to report to the General Assembly on the feasibility of providing residential and inpatient substance use disorder treatment as a part of the Medicaid program, and make recommendations concerning the time frame for implementing this treatment as a benefit under Medicaid. She discussed the differences between the various medications used for MAT and the need to include warparound services.

12:20 PM

Representative Pettersen recessed the committee.

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