Associated Press Published

West Virginia Gets OK to Expand Medicaid Drug Treatment


State health officials say they have received federal approval to expand addiction treatment for West Virginians covered by Medicaid.

The waiver from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services was requested to improve care and outcomes by expanding services for those diagnosed with a substance use disorder.

The Department of Health and Human Resources says it allows West Virginia to cover methadone, naloxone, peer recovery support, withdrawal management and short-term residential services to all Medicaid enrollees.

The waiver is more than 80 percent funded by the federal government.

West Virginia led the nation with 41.5 overdose deaths per 100,000 people in 2015. State officials say they rose nearly 18 percent last year, killing 864 people.

About 525,000 of West Virginia’s nearly 1.8 million people are enrolled in Medicaid.