More Californians Getting Addiction Treatment Under New Program, Counties Report

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A massive overhaul of the state’s substance abuse treatment system is making it easier for counties to help people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, a new report by the California Health Care Foundation has found.

For decades, people enrolled in Medi-Cal—the state’s low-income health insurance program—had difficulty accessing substance abuse treatment. Medi-Cal covered only a small selection of addiction treatment services, and there was no organized system to help them find quality care.

Under the new Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System, participating counties can offer a much broader array of services to people with substance use disorders, coordinate and manage those services, and monitor the quality of care. Counties can also pay providers better rates, encouraging more of them to accept Medi-Cal patients, according to the Aug. 3 report. Medi-Cal covers more than a quarter of the state—about 10.7 million people.