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Substance Abuse Treatment Outcomes: A Comparison of Medicaid- and Non-Medicaid-Funded Adolescents

NCJ Number
Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions Volume: 8 Issue: 4 Dated: 2008 Pages: 423-439
Lawrence Greenfield; Michael Wolf-Branigin; Kathryn Karageorge
Date Published
17 pages
The purpose of this analysis was to compare Medicaid-funded and non-Medicaid-funded youth in Missouri’s Comprehensive Substance Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation (CSTAR) program.
At treatment admission, the Medicaid-funded youth had a lower level of income, earlier onset of substance abuse, higher frequency of co-occurring disorders, and lower level of family cohesiveness compared to the non-Medicaid-funded youth. The findings appear to confirm the assumption that the Medicaid-funded youth were at a higher risk for substance abuse treatment failure. However, the Medicaid-funded youth had a longer length of stay (LOS), were more likely to receive services, and received services at a 41 percent higher overall cost compared to the non-Medicaid-funded adolescents. This finding demonstrates the resilience that was either initially present or acquired during treatment by these adolescents. The findings suggest that the initial disadvantages of the Medicaid-eligible youth were overcome with a longer LOS and more costly services. Also, the results suggest that Medicaid managed care is not a barrier to successful substance use treatment outcomes. Missouri provides Medicaid managed care services to adolescents under the Comprehensive Substance Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation (CSTAR) program. This analysis compared Medicaid-funded and non-Medicaid-funded youth in CSTAR at treatment admission, during treatment, and at treatment discharge. Tables and references