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BALTIMORE (AP) — The Maryland Medicaid Program is rolling out two initiatives aimed at fighting the opioid crisis.

The initiatives officially start on Saturday.

The state is reforming policies to curb opioid prescribing in the Medicaid program. It’s encouraging health-care providers to consider non-opioids as first-line treatment of patients with chronic pain. It’s also urging providers to conduct thorough screening before prescribing opioids and to refer patients to treatment when they have a substance abuse disorder.

In addition to the new addiction prevention strategy, the state’s Medicaid program will begin to reimburse for residential treatment services delivered in large facilities across Maryland known as Institutes for Mental Disease. Under the expansion, certain Medicaid-eligible adults ages 21-64 may have Medicaid pay for up to two non-consecutive, 30-day treatment spans.

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(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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