In our opinion: Well-intentioned rule is preventing needed treatment in Utah – Deseret News

Utah needs a waiver from a rule that’s creating a waitlist for those looking for addiction or mental illness treatment. People seeking help for opioid abuse, but who are unable to pay for treatment on their own or rely on private insurance, currently face a waiting list of up to six months to be admitted to a licensed facility.
This is not acceptable given the number of people caught in a web of addiction and the real prospect of death before treatment. Efforts by state officials to acquire a waiver to an obscure federal rule that limits the types of facilities open to Medicaid patients will hopefully soon open the door for a substantial number of people to receive help.

Utah, along with other states, has applied to have the rule waived that prevents Medicaid patients from getting treatment in facilities with more than 16 beds. The rule was put in place to deter the practice of warehousing patients with mental illness and addiction problems in large facilities, a sensible policy but one that has resulted in barring the door to an untold number of people seeking help in kicking their addictions. Utah’s application is modeled after one submitted …

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