Virginia’s new health secretary presented his top priorities to the House Appropriations committee Tuesday.
The number one priority for health secretary Dr. Dan Carey continued funding for addition resources to help address the state’s growing opioid epidemic.
Carey cited the success of the ARTS benefit approved through a new Medicaid waiver in the 2016 General Assembly session.
Between April and August of 2017, Carey says there was a 50% increase in access to treatment for the newly covered.
“There’ll be more data VCU is looking objectively at the impact of that but the preliminary data from them is that emergency visits are down, opioid prescriptions for chronic pain are down,” Carey said.
Republican Delegates like Chris Jones hinted at bipartisan support for this program, but questioned Carey’s other priorities expanding access to same-day treatment, and Medicaid expansion.