Performance Improvement 2013-2014. How Much Does the Medicaid Program Spend for Substance Abuse Disorder Treatment?


State and national estimates of Medicaid substance abuse treatment spending and projections are essential both for aligning funding with policy objectives and developing realistic budgets to support treatment and prevention. This study produced a set of state-specific and national estimates.

Spending on substance abuse services in 18 states with representative fee-for-service data averaged $6.16 per Medicaid enrolled month. There was extreme variation across states in the average amount spent on SA treatment services, from less than $3 per enrolled month to over $26. This variation appears to be linked to differences between states in the supply of specialty substance abuse treatment providers as well as to Medicaid program decisions regarding coverage of optional populations and optional benefits. National spending on substance abuse treatment in 2008 was $3.4 billion, which is roughly $3,000 per service user. This spending amounted to slightly less than 1.0 percent of the total $334 billion spent on Medicaid, and provided care to about 1.9 percent of the 61 million persons covered by the program.

Report Title: Medicaid Substance Abuse Treatment Spending: Findings Report

Agency Sponsor: OASPE, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Federal Contact: John Drabek, 202-690-6443

Contract Performer: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Record ID: 10221 (June 19, 2013)

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"PerformanceImprovement2014.pdf" (pdf, 671.65Kb)

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