Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many governors were looking for ways to strengthen substance use disorder (SUD) provider capacity as part of their comprehensive response to the opioid epidemic. With the COVID pandemic, this imperative became greater than ever as providers and states faced unprecedented fiscal challenges, and reports began coming in of an increase in need for SUD treatment as a result of the stress, social isolation, and job loss associated with the pandemic.
At the same time, SUD providers, many of them Medicaid providers, faced financial hardship as they lost revenue due to lower utilization, faced new costs for personal protective equipment, and were required to reconfigure their work spaces and approach to providing care to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
In “State Strategies to Support Access to Substance Use Disorder Treatment Services Through the COVID-19 Pandemic,” prepared on behalf of the National Governors Association and in partnership with the Technical Assistance Collaborative, Manatt Health provided an overview of strategies that governors used to address these challenges. (2020)