Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS), as the Single State Agency for Medicaid in the State of Connecticut, is applying for a SUPPORT Act Section 1003 Planning Grant through CMS to address the significant impact of opioid and other substance misuse on the well-being of individuals and families in the state. The opioid death rate in Connecticut is nearly twice the national rate and increasing. Through the SUPPORT Act Planning Grant, DSS and sister state agencies will achieve the following goals: 1) Assess the unmet need for SUD and OUD treatment and recovery services, including gaps in services as compared to the general population of the state, 2) Assess the unique needs of Medicaid subpopulations, including soliciting input for age- and gender-appropriate and culturally-relevant SUD and OUD treatment and recovery services, 3) Design activities that will improve state infrastructure for SUD and OUD treatment and recovery services. The total budget for the Connecticut Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Service Capacity and Infrastructure Planning Grant is $3,348,091. The budget will support recruitment and hiring of 11.0 FTE grant staffing, including a full-time dedicated SUD Grant Project Director, a SUD Project Manager, Regional Specialists, a Healthcare Data Scientist, and a SQL Developer. Mercer, as the State of Connecticut actuary of record, is uniquely situated as a primary recipient of Behavioral Health claims data. Mercer will engage in assessing the feasibility of value-based payment design and alternative provider reimbursement. Among the top activities to be included within the grant budget are: 1)Grant staff recruitment and hiring, 2) Stakeholder input gathering and analysis 3) Provider training development 4) Predictive modeling methodology development. Based on results of the assessment activities undertaken through the Grant, Connecticut proposes to improve SUD and OUD treatment and recovery s
ervices through recruitment and training of providers with specialized expertise and competence in serving members of the identified Medicaid subpopulation groups, including pregnant and postpartum women, mothers and their infants with NAS/NOWS, youth and young adults, American Indians/Alaska Natives, individuals in rural areas, Medicare-Medicaid dual eligibles, older adults, individuals with HIV infection, and individuals who make up a cohort of high need/high cost Medicaid service utilizers. Activities to increase provider capacity to serve Connecticut Medicaid members and Medicaid populations with SUD/OUD treatment needs will include: Targeted recruitment of telehealth providers for MAT services, Peer support provider workforce development, Exploration of alternative treatment approaches as covered services (e.g., acupuncture), Modeling for value-based provider reimbursement. DSS and sister state agencies are prepared to leverage inter-agency collaboration and vast experience in understanding and responding to the needs of Connecticut residents to successfully implement this Grant.