Butler County programs in danger due to Medicaid cuts

The Butler County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery Services Board. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
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The Butler County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery Services Board. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

The state of the Medicaid system is currently in flux at both the state and local levels. Butler County is bracing for the possibility several programs are in peril.

RELATED: State legislators fine-tuning budget

Medicaid expansion that passed in the state in 2013 provided coverage to many more people in the state. The federal government is debating cuts to the system and the state is wrangling over freezing enrollment.

Here are some programs that may be impacted in Butler County:

1. Opiate epidemic battle has bulls-eye on its back

The Butler County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Services Board and many other facets of the county have been fighting the area’s opiate epidemic. Medicaid expansion allowed the MHARS board to get help for more people.

MORE: Butler County taxpayers paying for addiction services

Executive Director Scott Rasmus said now is not the time to mess with Medicaid.

“Now is not the time to make sweeping changes to a Medicaid expansion program that is quite literally saving lives in Ohio,” he said. “Now is not the time to pull the rug out from under individuals and families who are desperate for help.”

2. New Family Drug Court program could be in peril

The new court designed to get and keep parents in the Children Services system clean is set to begin tomorrow, a big component of the plan is that Medicaid would pick up the tab for treatment.

RELATED: New Family Drug Court coming to Butler County

3. Family Preservation program appears safe

Part of the reason Interim JFS Director Bill Morrison outsourced the proven program — that was curtailed altogether several years ago due to budget cuts — was because he can get Medicaid dollars to pay for the program. He couldn’t do that if it were in-house. Since Medicaid is tied to the children, tinkering with adult Medicaid expansion shouldn’t impact the program.

MORE: Family Preservation program resurrected

4. Family Connections visitation program could be unaffected

Same thing in this instance, the outsourced program — that also used to be handle within the agency — relies on the childrens’ Medicaid coverage.

RELATED: Family visitation program outsourced

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