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Kentucky Medicaid Among 10 State Programs Participating in Housing Project


The Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services (DMS), an agency within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), has been selected to participate in a national learning collaborative to develop and expand capacity to implement and strengthen strategies for providing housing-related supports and care coordination under Medicaid to individuals with substance use disorders (SUD).

The collaborative includes representatives from 10 Medicaid programs and is led by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in Washington, D.C.

In addition to Kentucky, Alabama, Arizona, the District of Columbia, Louisiana, New Mexico, Ohio, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin will participate in the collaborative. DMS and learning collaborative partners will focus on strengthening behavioral health and housing partnerships, while identifying and coordinating with non-Medicaid funding sources to support housing access and stability among individuals with SUD.

“Many Kentuckians struggling with SUD are also dealing with homelessness or housing instability, which are extreme barriers to seeking care, maintaining a consistent treatment plan, and long-term recovery,” said CHFS Secretary Eric Friedlander. “Participating in this collaborative is a great opportunity for Kentucky to partner with other states to pool our knowledge and resources in the interest of furthering public policy to address substance use disorder and opioid use disorder.”

Research has established a strong association between homelessness and SUD. According to national program data, nearly 12 percent of Medicaid beneficiaries over 18 years of age have SUD. Nearly 50 percent of those with SUD have a co-occurring mental health disorder.

The collaborative will specifically focus on peer-to-peer learning activities, such as:

Supports for an individual’s ability to prepare for and transition to housing.
Activities that support successful tenancy.

Activities that support collaborative efforts across public agencies and the private sector that assist a state in identifying and securing housing options for individuals with disabilities; older adults needing long term services and supports; and those experiencing chronic homelessness.

CMS will provide selected states with the opportunity to learn from peer states through facilitated sharing of information, resources, best practices, and lessons learned from states’ experiences over a nine-month period. Kentucky will be represented in the collaborative by program experts from the Kentucky Housing Corporation, the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental, and Intellectual Disabilities, and the Kentucky Opioid Response Effort.

“As part of this collaborative, Kentucky Medicaid seeks to develop and strengthen our partnerships with the behavioral health and housing communities,” said DMS Commissioner Lisa Lee. “This is a great opportunity for our department to better understand the role of housing in successful SUD treatment and care and strengthening care coordination among different entities. We are very excited about the potential of this effort to better serve Kentuckians.”

“The Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental, and Intellectual Disabilities and the Kentucky Opioid Response Effort have long recognized the significance of safe and supportive housing in establishing and maintaining recovery,” said Dr. Katherine Marks, project director for KORE. “Having the opportunity to participate in this collaborative and knowledge gained from the experience will help us to better serve individuals with SUD.”

States participating in the collaborative participated in a kick-off call earlier this month and will continue work until July 2021.

(provided by The Cabinet for Health and Family Services)

Paul Hitchcock earned his Masters in Communications from Morehead State University and Bachelors in Radio-TV/Psychology from Georgetown College. A veteran broadcaster for more than 40 years and an avid fan of blues, jazz and American roots music. Hitchcock has been with WMKY since 1986 and was named General Manager in 2003. He currently hosts "Muddy Bottom Blues" (Fri., 8pm-9pm), "Nothin' But The Blues" (Sat., 8pm-12am), "Sunday Night Jazz Showcase" and "Live From The Jazz Lounge" (Sun., 8pm-9pm) and "The Golden Age of Radio" (Sun., 2pm-3pm). He also serves as producer for "A Time For Tales" and "The Reader's Notebook."
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