ACA Allows More People to Get Treatment for Addiction - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

ACA Allows More People to Get Treatment for Addiction, But Recovery Centers Taking a Hit

Posted: Updated:
With more people now eligible for medicaid, it's translated into lower reimbursement rates. With more people now eligible for medicaid, it's translated into lower reimbursement rates.

YAKIMA, WA - NBC Right Now is digging deeper into the unintended effects the Affordable Care Act is having on local addiction recovery centers.

With more people now eligible for medicaid, it's translated into lower reimbursement rates. We spoke with a woman who said she's one of those people who are now eligible.

Opiates. It's the drug of choice for many statewide, including a girl we'll call Sam. She said she couldn't afford help for such a long time.

"It was incredibly difficult," said Sam. "It was day to day living. I didn't have the ability because of my circumstances really to figure out what I had to do to be able to get into a recovery facility to be able to find out about these services that I so needed. That I needed to survive."

Sam said she recently qualified for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and immediately checked herself into treatment.

"It's been essential to me staying clean and sober," said Sam.

Directors of Drug Recovery Centers in Yakima and Kittitas counties said it's great that more people like Sam are getting treatment. But the Affordable Care Act is also dramatically affecting them.

Norm Redberg, the Director of Alcohol Drug Dependency Services in Ellensburg said Medicaid reimbursement rates are extremely low and the amount of "billable" revenue is decreasing. He says the state legislature needs to find some sort of balance before some recovery centers are forced to close their doors.

"What they said was well we'll have the state organization, which is Department of Behavior Health and Recovery, look into the situation and bring back recommendations to us in the next legislative session," said Redberg. "We can't wait."

Redberg said making Medicaid reimbursement rates a little higher could be a potential solution.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.