The North Dakota Department of Human Services implemented two legislative changes on Wednesday.
Lawmakers authorized changing the qualifying age for the substance use disorder voucher program from 18 to 14 years of age and approved allowing licensed opioid treatment programs to apply to open a medication unit to serve people in additional communities.
The substance use disorder voucher program was created in 2015 to address gaps in reimbursement for addiction services. It provides reimbursement for services such as screenings, evaluations, individual therapy, outpatient or residential treatment, transportation and room and board.
The second change involves North Dakota’s three licensed opioid treatment programs in Bismarck, Minot and Fargo. Each provides a form of medication-assisted treatment for individuals with an opioid use disorder.
The recent legislative change allows these opioid treatment programs to open a medication unit in a different community in an effort to increase access to services. A medication unit is a facility that is geographically separated from the home opioid treatment program.