The LCADA Way can increase the number of treatment beds for women at the Key Women’s Services Center after a recent change to a decades-old Medicaid rule that capped treatment by service providers.
A recent decision by The Centers on Medicaid and Medicare on the Institutions for Mental Diseases Rule paves the way for the service expansion. The LCADA Way immediately will expand its 16-bed program to 21 beds, with plans to increase to 36 total beds in the near future.
Thomas Stuber, president of The LCADA Way, said the change will significantly decrease the amount of time women wait for treatment in Lorain County, potentially lowering the number of overdoses and deaths related to women who relapse while waiting for a bed.
“Traditionally, we have a waitlist of between five and 30 women at any one time trying to get into treatment,” Stuber said. “The time on the waitlist varies, but any time increases a woman’s chance to relapse, continuing their drug use and continuing to experience the consequences of ongoing opioid use, including criminal changes, loss of jobs and even death due to overdose.”
Stuber said The Key, a women’s-only residential addiction treatment center run by The LCADA Way in Lorain, always has had the capacity to do more. It is a former 100-bed nursing home. However, a Medicaid rule intended to ensure that states, rather than the federal government, would have principal responsibility for funding inpatient psychiatric services stunted Lorain County’s treatment program. The IMD exclusion has been part of the Medicaid program since Medicaid’s enactment in 1965, and while Congress has had the opportunity on numerous occasions to amend or repeal the exclusion, it has remained largely intact.
Over the years, Stuber has taken elected leaders through the facility – U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Cincinnati, toured the facility in October 2016 — in hopes of garnering support for the rule change and additional funding for treatment.
Tuesday, Stuber credited the persistent efforts of state Sen. Gayle Manning, R-North Ridgeville, and Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Traci Plouck for fighting for the legislative change.
“We can now help even more women locally and join with other Ohio service providers treating hundreds in need throughout the state,” he said.
The Key is unique as it allows preschool-aged children to enter treatment with their mothers. Stuber said this removes an obstacle that could delay treatment for some women. While at the Key, women are in intensive rehabilitation, follow a treatment plan and learn how to live and cope without drugs.
“This is an exciting time for The Key,” said Lisa Stevens, director of Women’s Services at The LCADA Way. “For years, we’ve had a waiting list of women in need of our services. Opening up the number of beds we can offer and providing recovery treatment to the women who have been waiting for our help, is just great. It will make a difference to those in need of our services.”
Stuber said demand for services will drive future expansion.
“As long as there is a need we will continue to look for other avenues to provide services,” he said.
Locally, the Nord Family Foundation, Community Foundation of Lorain County and the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board of Lorain County support The LCADA Way.
A special donor-based program called Adopt-A-Bed, where local companies and donors provide funding and in-kind furnishings and services, which include whole-room sponsorships, furniture, linens, food and health and beauty supplies, also supports the Key.