Health Care Attorneys Help Develop White Paper Seeking Medicaid Coverage of Harm Reduction Services in New York
Ropes & Gray's health care attorney Brett Friedman provided key technical assistance, advice and writing contributions to a new white paper published by the Injection Drug Users Health Alliance (IDUHA), a coalition of 16 New York City harm reduction agencies. Entitled “New York State Medicaid Coverage for Harm Reduction Services,” the white paper outlined IDUHA’s position regarding pending state proposals to include harm reduction—a spectrum of strategies and services for reducing the harmful effects of substance abuse, which differs from traditional abstinence-based drug treatment—as a Medicaid-covered service. The white paper also expressed IDUHA’s view on the role of harm reduction in the overall Medicaid reimbursement landscape, including the development of health homes and the movement toward universal care management, and outlined potential synergies between harm reduction services and the goal of better health outcomes and lower costs for Medicaid-eligible New Yorkers.
The white paper was the culmination of a yearlong project through which the associates provided pro bono counsel to Voices of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY), a statewide grassroots membership organization dedicated to empowering people affected by HIV/AIDS, drug use and mass incarceration, and the organizations that serve them.