ZANESVILLE, Ohio- Ohio is moving addiction services, for low-income families, into Medicaid managed care by July 1st.
C.E.O. of Muskingum Behavioral Health Steve Carrel said this is the biggest and most complicated change the behavioral health system in Ohio has ever seen. He said the Medicaid system has been changing since the start of the new year and behavioral health companies are already being negatively impacted.
“They’re doing this in a way to contain cost because there’s a general belief that we’re abusing the system or overcharging the system in some way. We’re being pressed against the wall and the only thing I can think of is they’re trying to save money,” said Carrel.
Carrel said over 60 percent of behavioral health and family services in Ohio are getting less money from Medicaid than companies originally had budgeted. He said Medicaid claims are $75 million less than what behavior health companies expected. This is leading to cuts to group therapy.
“I don’t know how they came up with the number but, the number was a huge cut to the most effective service we have to offer. So, you’re actually going to end up paying more because clients are going to be able to get the treatment they need,” said Carrel.
Carrel said less money for behavioral health companies across Ohio will not help end the current opioid epidemic.