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Credentialing, Licensing, and Reimbursement of the SUD Workforce: A Review of Policies and Practices Across the Nation


In September 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) contracted with the Human Services Research Institute to conduct a study of licensing and credentialing policies for SUD treatment providers across the 50 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) and to examine billing eligibility and reimbursement for SUD treatment services across Medicaid, Medicare, and commercial insurance plans. The purpose of the project is to examine state variation in policies and to investigate the barriers to and facilitators of increased treatment capacity and insurance reimbursement for SUD providers across the nation.
SUD treatment services are provided by a broad range of practitioners, including physicians, nurses, behavioral health counselors, social workers, psychologists, and many others.

This study focuses on the SUD counselor segment of the workforce, as this segment is particularly impacted by licensing, credentialing, and reimbursement barriers due to the lack of standardization on qualifications and credentials.


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Funding for this initiative was made possible by grant no. 1H79TI083022 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.