Over the last decade, increasing rates of opioid dependency have become a concern for public health officials, state Medicaid agencies, and the federal government. Although individuals with opioid dependency represent a small percentage of all Medicaid enrollees, they often have significant physical and behavioral health needs that result in high costs of care. States are looking for innovative, cost effective ways to integrate and coordinate care for this population. Through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states can implement health homes to provide enhanced integration and care coordination for people with opioid dependency.

This webinar, made possible by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Health Home Information Resource Center, highlighted core features of approved health home models from Maryland, Rhode Island, and Vermont that are tailored to individuals with opioid dependency. State speakers from Rhode Island and Vermont joined staff from the Center for Health Care Strategies to address key considerations in developing opioid dependence-focused health homes. The webinar can inform other states looking to develop health home programs for opioid dependency.


I. Introduction

Speaker: Kathy Moses, Senior Program Officer, Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS)

Kathy Moses welcomed participants to the call and provided an overview of the Medicaid health homes opportunity.

II. Overview of Health Home Models in Rhode Island and Vermont

Speakers:  Becky Boss, Deputy Director, Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH); Beth Tanzman, Assistant Director, Vermont Blueprint for Health

Becky Boss and Beth Tanzman described the goals and structure of their states’ health home models.

III. Panel Discussion

Moderator: Kathy Moses, CHCS

Discussants:  Becky Boss, Rhode Island BHDDH, and Beth Tanzman, Vermont Blueprint for Health

Becky Boss and Beth Tanzman shared key considerations in developing opioid dependence-focused health homes, including: (1) leveraging opioid treatment program requirements; (2) promoting collaboration across multiple state agencies; (3) supporting providers in transforming into health homes; and (4) encouraging information sharing.