July 5, 2017

Indiana Adds Methadone Coverage To Treatment Programs

Article origination IPBS-RJC
FSSA Secretary Jennifer Walthall announces changes to opioid treatment programs. - Jill Sheridan/IPB

FSSA Secretary Jennifer Walthall announces changes to opioid treatment programs.

Jill Sheridan/IPB

Indiana will add five new opioid treatment programs (OTP) across the state to help combat the ongoing drug abuse epidemic and the initiative will also includes coverage of the treatment drug methadone.

The announcement came Wednesday at the Valle Vista treatment center in Greenwood. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Secretary Jennifer Walthall says the center is being added to the state’s OTP efforts and will offer methadone.

“Indiana Medicaid members including all Healthy Indiana Plan members will have coverage for all services provided in an opioid treatment program, including coverage of methadone for opioid use disorder,” says Walthall.

The changes are coming Aug. 1 and Walthall says they will give patients more options.

“Studies have shown that patients receiving methadone are more likely to remain in treatment and reduce opioid use compared with placebo or non-medication treatment.” Walthall says.

Amy Rardon is in treatment now using methadone. She’s been addicted to pain pills for 10 years.

“We’re normal people just like everyone, we just want to work and be part of the population, we just go and get our treatment and live our lives,” Rardon says.

Indiana Medicaid currently only covers two other FDA-approved medicines to help people manage addiction. New legislation requires all opioid treatment programs to participate in Medicaid.

The new coverage comes with five additional opioid treatment programs where Hoosiers can access methadone. That brings the state’s total to 19.

The new sites are strategically placed to address access issues. Gov. Eric Holcomb says the locations are based on recent overdose deaths and naloxone administration.

“We’re meeting the need where it is most urgent,” Holcomb says.

Indiana ranks 15th in the nation for overdose deaths.

The counties adding programs are Allen, Johnson, Monroe, Vigo and Tippecanoe.

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