Maryland proposes changes to how it pays clinics, health facilities for methadone treatment, counselling

December 26, 2015

Maryland's Behavioral Health Administration, which oversees the public mental health and substance abuse system, has proposed changing how it pays clinics and health facilities that administer methadone treatment to recovering drug addicts. While state mental health officials say the proposed changes to Medicaid reimbursement rates for methadone treatment would provide drug treatment programs more incentive to improve counseling services to addicts, some drug treatment centers worry it would severely reduce the revenue needed to keep their doors open and leave small clinics particularly vulnerable. The proposal calls for reducing Medicaid payments for methadone treatment from $80 per week to $42 per week, while potentially increasing what programs can get for counseling services. State officials maintain the changes are merely structural and will keep clinics financially sound, as it would separate counseling services and allow for higher reimbursement payments as counseling is reimbursed at various rates depending on the intensity of the treatment. The proposal is the result of recommendations made by a state task force named by Gov. Larry Hogan and chaired by Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford.