© 2021 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Government & Politics

Sens. Brown and Portman Propose End to Addiction Treatment Center Bed Limit

photo of Beacon House Residential Treatment Facility
A look inside the Beacon House, a residential treatment facility in Wooster.

Ohio Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown are proposing a major policy shift for residential treatment facilities. Addiction recovery advocates say the change being considered by Congress will help treatment centers open their doors to more people in need.

The bipartisan proposal gets rid of the Institutions for Mental Disease exclusion, which bans any additional Medicaid funding for treatment centers with more than 16 beds.  

Lori Criss with the Ohio Council of Behavioral Health and Family Service Providers says getting rid of the 16-bed rule helps with the state’s capacity problem.

“This is a really pivotal moment in the behavioral health field and our ability to respond appropriately as communities to people recovering from addiction and managing their mental health recovery as well,” she said.

The measure is part of a larger bill addressing opioid addiction and treatment. It’s passed the U.S. House and awaits a U.S. Senate vote. The proposal would eliminate the 16-bed rule for five years, giving Congress a chance to examine how much it might increase costs before possibly making a permanent change.