Researchers posed as heroin users seeking help to find the gaps in the treatment industry…and the results were shocking
Researchers contacted hundreds of treatment centers throughout the U.S. in the cities with the highest overdose death rates, searching for a better understanding of why people aren’t receiving treatment. The researchers were denied appointments much of the time, especially if they said they were insured through Medicaid. The study revealed other roadblocks: high fees and a government website riddled with wrong phone numbers.
The two callers, who read from a script and acted as 30-year-old heroin users, tried reaching 546 providers with working numbers listed on a government website. They made calls during 2018 to providers in Massachusetts, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia, New Hampshire and the District of Columbia. Many numbers were disconnected, never answered or returned or were unable to help the callers. When callers offered to pay cash, 62% of the centers gave the callers an appointment for intake, while if the callers said they had Medicaid, they were denied treatment 46% of the time.
Amatus Health's Solution: Medicaid Treatment Facilities
Nearly 4 in 10 nonelderly adults with opioid addiction are covered by Medicaid, the federal and state insurance program for low-income patients. These are people struggling. These are people that need help. Having private insurance versus Medicaid should not be the deciding factor of receiving life saving treatment for addiction. At Amatus Recovery Centers, we are focused on helping all people within the community heal from substance abuse. Our Medicaid treatment facilities offer the full continuum of care- from detox and residential to outpatient therapy. Our Ohio Detox Center, Ohio Treatment Center and Awakenings Recovery Center, all utilize masters level clinicians and a multidisciplinary, individualized approach to treatment. Don’t let anything stop you or a loved one from getting the help you need and deserve. If you are struggling with addiction, help is always available.