Cover: State Policy and the Breadth of Buprenorphine-Prescriber Networks in Medicaid Managed Care

State Policy and the Breadth of Buprenorphine-Prescriber Networks in Medicaid Managed Care

Published in: Medical Care Research and Review (2023). doi: 10.1177/10775587231167514

Posted on rand.org Jun 14, 2023

by Mark K. Meiselbach, Coleman Drake, Jane M. Zhu, Brynna Manibusan, Dylan Nagy, Mark J. Sorbero, Brendan Saloner, Bradley D. Stein, Daniel Polsky

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Provider networks in Medicaid Managed Care (MMC) play a crucial role in ensuring access to buprenorphine, a highly effective treatment for opioid use disorder. Using a difference-in-differences approach that compares network breadth across provider specialties and market segments within the same state, we investigated the association between three Medicaid policies and the breadth of MMC networks for buprenorphine prescribers: Medicaid expansion, substance use disorder (SUD) network adequacy criteria, and SUD carveouts. We found that both Medicaid expansion and SUD network adequacy criteria were associated with substantially increased breadth in buprenorphine-prescriber networks in MMC. In both cases, we found that the associations were largely driven by increases in the network breadth of primary care physician prescribers. Our findings suggest that Medicaid expansion and SUD network adequacy criteria may be effective strategies at states' disposal to improve access to buprenorphine.

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