March 21, Wisconsin Health News
Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm said Wednesday that the agency is hoping to build off former Gov. Scott Walker’s administration's work in addressing the opioid epidemic.
“The previous administration called for all hands on deck in the response to the opioid problem and inspired the entire state with the mantra, ‘Hope. Act. Live,’” Palm said at a forum in Green Bay Wednesday. “That’s something DHS takes to heart.”
Palm said Walker’s administration laid a “strong foundation” for addressing the epidemic.
Gov. Tony Evers’ budget proposes taking more federal money to expand Medicaid, which Palm touted as a way to get more people medication-assisted treatment.
The money would also go toward leveraging federal funding to pilot a hub-and-spoke model of care.
A state commission proposed the model last year, which was detailed in a report released at the final meeting of the Governor's Task Force on Opioid Abuse last December.
The model involves establishing a health home for people with substance use disorders, she said.
“It’s important to me and the leadership at DHS that we don’t lose sight of other substance use disorders, even as we focus on ending the opioid epidemic,” she said. “We need to build a healthcare system that is prepared to address behavioral healthcare more broadly.”
Palm said large parts of Wisconsin don’t have access to treatment and services. They’d pilot the model in two rural areas and one urban area in the state.