Since the 1960s, U.S. hospitals and healthcare facilities that provide more than 16 beds for the care of people with psychiatric and addiction issues have been known in legislative terms as Institutions for Mental Disease (IMD). Today, this designation has come to represent a significant barrier for Medicaid enrollees who suffer from psychiatric and drug-related issues. This is due to the little known and largely outdated “IMD exclusion,” which is a federal law that blocks Medicaid from making payments (in most cases) to facilities that qualify as IMDs.
While Senate passage of the Better Care Reconciliation ACT (BCRA) appears to have failed, it is unlikely that the Republican-led effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has seen its last day.
Following news reports about a recent spike in heroin overdoses in central and northern Vermont, the Vermont Department of Health issued a warning to street drug users about a particularly powerful strain of heroin that has turned up in several communities and caused at least 10 individuals, one of whom later died, to overdose in a 50 hour stretch during the weekend of Aug. 13 and 14.
Depression. Anxiety. PTSD. Bi-polar disorder. Alcohol and other drug problems. If left untreated, psychiatric and addiction challenges like these can damage careers, hurt relationships, and even destroy lives. That’s why the skilled caregivers at the Brattleboro Retreat are dedicated to helping children, adolescents, and adults who face mental illness or addiction find the hope and healing they deserve.
Raina Lowell is a mother, community outreach coordinator in northern Vermont, and author of the "How to Love a Drug Addict" blog. She appeared in the 2013 documentary film "The Hungry Heart". As part of her journey toward recovery, Raina received care at the Brattleboro Retreat.
Informed by years of experience in the field of addiction treatment, Geoff Kane, MD, MPH, and Kurt White, LADC, LICSW, discuss the changes made in addiction treatment over the last twenty years regarding levels and style of care as well as medication-assisted therapies and the role of family members and friends in a person's treatment and journey to recovery.
Members of the Brattleboro Retreat's clinical staff discuss the hospital's philosophy and approach to treating substance abuse and addiction.