Representatives from six state-supported addiction treatment centers gathered at the Statehouse today to rally against decreased Medicaid reimbursement rates. The change, brought on by a switch in the way Medicaid recipients are insured, will take effect next year.
Providers say it will force them to cut services and eliminate inpatient beds instead of expanding to address New Hampshire's opioid epidemic.
"Without raising the rates to what it actually costs to provide the care, we face closing down," Sharon Drake, who runs the Southeast New Hampshire Drug and Alcohol Abuse Services in Dover, said at the rally. An average of 89 percent of clients at the 28-bed facility are Medicaid eligible.
"We would have to be more selective regarding who we put into those beds moving forward," Drake said. "That's not fair. That means that people are going to die because we made a decision. Not because the care wasn't there."
Representatives from five other treatment centers spoke at the rally, calling for the state to step in and close the funding gap. They were joined by first responders and members of the recovery community.