September 25, 2019

RI Delegation Announces $3.4 Million to Increase Medicaid Providers’ Capacity for Addiction Treatment

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline today announced that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has awarded Rhode Island a $3,482,368 planning grant to increase the treatment capacity of Medicaid providers for substance use disorder treatment and recovery services.

“Rhode Island continues to make strides in combatting the opioid epidemic, but we have to keep the momentum going with real resources and a comprehensive plan of action.  This federal funding will help those on the frontlines treat and prevent opioid addiction and enhance public health and safety,” said Senator Reed.  “This is a needed investment in improving care for people with substance use disorders.”

“Rhode Island families from every walk of life have been touched by the opioid addiction crisis, and this federal funding will help ensure that treatment and recovery services are there when needed,” said Senator Whitehouse, who authored the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, the landmark law passed in 2016 to guide the federal response to the opioid epidemic.  “No patient who has resolved to get help should be turned away by a treatment provider.”

“Our state is one of the hardest hit by the opioid overdose epidemic, and we need federal funds to help our communities,” said Congressman Langevin. “This grant will lay the groundwork for healthcare providers to deliver expanded substance abuse treatment and recovery services for Rhode Islanders in need. I will keep fighting alongside my colleagues in the delegation to secure federal resources to combat this public health crisis.”

“When Rhode Islanders suffer from substance use disorder, they deserve to know that their providers have the funding and resources they need to treat patients effectively and help them recover,” Congressman Cicilline said. “This important federal investment will help our state’s Medicaid providers deliver SUD treatment and recovery services to those who need it most. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in the federal delegation to bring valuable federal dollars like these home to Rhode Island.”

The grant will increase the capacity of Medicaid providers to help patients struggling with substance use disorders.  Thanks to these funds, Rhode Island Medicaid behavioral health providers will receive technology support, including telemedicine and technical assistance in billing and administration.  The grant will also allow Rhode Island to recruit and train new providers for substance use disorder and recovery services. 

“The Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services and our member agencies are pleased to have these new resources to invest in building the capacity of Medicaid behavioral health providers,” said Womazetta Jones, Secretary for Rhode Island’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS).  “It is a shared top priority of Governor Raimondo and EOHHS to ensure that we continue to address our opioid crisis and improve Rhode Islanders’ behavioral health services.  Offering this technology and technical assistance to providers will support their critical work toward this goal.”

There were 314 overdose deaths in Rhode Island last year.



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