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Call to action: Support Medicaid coverage for substance abuse treatment

Medicaid coverage of most substance abuse treatment programs, including Odyssey House, is in danger thanks to the IMD exclusion. This exclusion bars Medicaid from paying for community-based residential treatment at facilities of 16 beds or more. While the IMD exclusion originated in the 1960s as a means of ending the warehousing of patients in large psychiatric hospitals, today it is a significant barrier to providing care for our most vulnerable citizens.

After intensive and sustained advocacy by Treatment Communities of America, in early January Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL) is prepared to introduce legislation that would reform the IMD exclusion to allow for Medicaid reimbursement of residential treatment for substance use disorders (SUD). 

This is a significant milestone but the work is not done. We now need to build support and momentum for the effort by securing cosponsors for Congressman Hastings’ legislation.

Please take a few minutes to call your Member of the House of Representatives to urge them to cosponsor Congressman Hastings’ IMD exclusion reform legislation that will be introduced in January.

You can reach your Representatives via the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. If you’re not sure who your Representative is, you can search by zip code here.

In the midst of the current opioid crisis, there is a huge shortage of treatment beds and many barriers to accessing treatment.  We can end one of those barriers by supporting the Hastings bill. 


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