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Malory Shaughnessy, executive director of the Maine Alliance for Addiction and Mental Health Services, says waitlists with other providers underscore the need for more capacity. And to increase capacity, she says, Maine needs to increase its Medicaid reimbursement rates to providers.
“In recent years, some of our capacity has been eroded because rates have not maintained a level that can support the service,” she says.
When Janet Mills ran for governor, she promised to expand Medicaid to help combat the opioid crisis. Her campaign estimated that 25,000 Mainers couldn’t access treatment for substance use disorder either because of a lack of capacity or a lack of insurance.
Now, four months into expansion, providers say they’re seeing a dramatic increase in access, but many are concerned Maine doesn’t have the capacity to meet the pent up demand.