The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued new guidance to states advising them on how they can use section 1115 Medicaid waivers to improve access to treatment for Medicaid recipients struggling with opioid abuse problems.

According to the 14-page guidance letter from CMS to state Medicaid directors,

CMS is now offering a more flexible, streamlined approach to accelerate states’ ability to respond to the national opioid crisis while enhancing states’ monitoring and reporting of the impact of any changes imsplemented through these demonstrations.  As the opioid crisis continues to raise alarm and highlight the need for better access to high quality, evidence-based treatment, CMS would like to partner with states to support ways to progressively improve outcomes for Medicaid beneficiaries struggling with addictions in the context of 5-year demonstrations.

See the CMS guidance letter here.