U.S. allowing prisons to use Medicaid to cover mental health, addiction treatment

The federal government is set to permit states to tap into Medicaid funds for treating mental health conditions and substance use disorder in jails and prisons, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Feb. 21.

Medicaid can't currently be used to cover those costs unless the incarcerated person is receiving care at an outside clinic or hospital, the report said. That means states and counties have had to pay for treatment for incarcerated people who could otherwise qualify for Medicaid.

Guidelines are set to be released in spring, the report said. States that apply to expand Medicaid funding in their jails and prisons must use the funds to cover substance abuse and mental health treatment.

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