Between 1999 and 2016, opioid overdose deaths increased fivefold in the United States. As the country struggles to address this crisis, the complex care field offers a unique approach. Complex care goes beyond a single disease state and has applicability to public health crises, including the current opioid epidemic. It is imperative that the complex care field understands the implications of the opioid epidemic for individuals with complex health and social needs, as well as its potential solutions.
Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published new guidance that allows states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients using Section 1115 Waivers. Such waivers would require beneficiaries to prove employment or participation in job search activities in order to receive health coverage under the program. Work requirements create additional barriers to coverage for patients with complex health and social needs.