Major obstacles remain to expanded treatment for addiction through the Medicaid program, according to USA Today. Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires treatment be offered to people who are newly insured through insurance exchanges or Medicaid, experts say a federal law is limiting available beds nationwide.
A federal restriction does not allow drug treatment centers with more than 16 beds to bill Medicaid for residential services provided to low-income adults. The law was meant to prevent Medicaid dollars from funding private mental institutions that warehoused patients, according to the article. The result is that addiction treatment centers are turning away new Medicaid patients who are entitled to treatment under the ACA.