Extrapolating the impact of managed care on methadone treatment from the treatment effectiveness literature
In the last decade, health care costs have increased rapidly causing significant changes in the financing and delivery of health care services, especially in public programs. In an attempt to control the escalating costs of Medicaid, many states are revamping their current Medicaid system and enrolling Medicaid recipients into managed care systems. This change could greatly affect methadone treatment and subject its patients and providers to capitated financing, prior treatment authorization, and utilization reviews. The objective of this paper is to provide information on the effectiveness and economic benefits of methadone treatment from the treatment effectiveness literature so that policymakers may better understand the impact that some of these managed care policies may have on the treatment delivery system. Our review of the literature suggests that policies limiting treatment access or the duration of methadone maintenance treatment may increase societal cost in the long run.