NJAMHAA Anticipates Governor Christie’s Proposed Budget Will Uphold His Commitment to Providing Substance Use Treatment

Governor Chris Christie will deliver his Budget Address for Fiscal Year 2018 tomorrow (February 28, 2017). The New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies (NJAMHAA) anticipates that the Governor will uphold his commitment to increase access to substance use treatment services for the estimated 939,000 individuals throughout New Jersey in need, as he stated in his State of the State address earlier this year, as well as continue investments into equally essential mental health services.

“Governor Christie and other leaders in the Administration have heard our message that access to community-based services is critical for New Jersey residents to have opportunities to recover from substance use and mental illnesses. These services not only cost substantially less than hospitalizations, emergency room visits, incarceration and homelessness, but they also have been proven highly effective in preventing the need for these high-cost services and keeping New Jerseyans healthy,” said Debra L. Wentz, Ph.D., President and CEO of NJAMHAA.

“In addition to the significant increase in funding for substance use services that the State has enacted when these treatment programs transitioned to a 100-percent fee-for-service reimbursement system, NJAMHAA appreciates the more recent announcement of a substantial rate increase for medication monitoring, which is an essential part of treatment for both substance use and mental health disorders. This is a great step forward. Hopefully, the budget will include increases to other rates that are causing difficulty in the transition to fee-for-service and safety net funding that will keep providers fiscally viable,” Dr. Wentz said.

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