Assessing the impact of a change to the Oregon Health Plan's coverage of substance abuse treatment

Proposed changes in the benefits offered to some Oregon Medicaid beneficiaries create a unique opportunity to investigate the impact of eliminating coverage for substance abuse treatment on the health and socioeconomic status of patients currently receiving the treatment. On March 1, 2003, benefits for outpatient alcohol, drug, and mental health services were eliminated for Oregon Health Plan (OHP) Standard enrollees. At this time, OHP Standard plan members who are currently receiving coverage for treatment of heroin addiction through methadone maintenance therapy will be asked to pay their own treatment bills, while heroin addicts covered by OHP Plus will retain their substance abuse treatment benefits. This grant provides partial bridge funding to examine and document the impact this policy change has on methadone patients' abilities to obtain treatment, as well as on the patients' outcomes. This project will provide evidence to fill a need of policy makers and the field. The project will be considered successful if it results in the provision of timely, useful information to inform Oregon state legislators, who will be presented with the option of rescinding their policy of cutting coverage for treatment of substance abuse in July 2003.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $20,000.00

Awarded on: 4/16/2003

Time frame: 4/15/2003 - 10/31/2003

Grant Number: 48301


Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine

3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road
Portland, 97239-3011


Bret E. Fuller
Project Director