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March 28, 2019

MOHealthNet to cover complementary & alternative therapies to treat adultchronic pain starting April 1

MO HealthNet’s new treatment options for adult participants will improve health outcomes and reduce opioid misuse and avoidable costs.

Jefferson City, MO— Today, the Department of Social Services (DSS) MO HealthNet Division (MHD) announced that new treatment options for chronic pain will be available to MO HealthNet participants starting April 1. "This is an exciting and important step forward in Missouri’s efforts to diminish the use of opioids and to provide relief to those who suffer chronic pain without the risks associated with an opiate," said Todd Richardson, Director, MO HealthNet Division. "MO HealthNet providers simply need more options to effectively treat chronic pain and expanding treatment options to include physical therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, chiropractic therapy, non-opioid medication therapy, and acupuncture will help optimize health outcomes and ultimately enable Missourians to resume a normal, active family and work life."

Combating substance use in Missouri families is a goal for the Department of Social Services and the addition of alternative and complementary therapies for the treatment of chronic pain is a key initiative to help achieve that goal. “Chronic pain can be debilitating and can seriously impact a Missourian’s physical and mental wellbeing as well as their ability to function and be productive,” said Steve Corsi, Psy.D., Director, Missouri Department of Social Services. “I am proud MO HealthNet has achieved this goal and the Department is making a very concerted effort to quickly educate providers on the availability of these alternative therapy treatment options to bring crucial relief to thousands who suffer from chronic pain.”

“As a primary care physician who has cared for patients throughout their lives, I greatly appreciate the service MO HealthNet is providing Missouri patients with this new initiative,” said Dr. Randall Williams, Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. “Recognizing the importance of alternative therapies in the treatment of chronic pain is a major milestone in our state’s response to preventing substance use disorder, which often begins with prescription medications and self-medication for pain management.”

MHD estimates that the addition of these new covered services will actually reduce costs by lowering prescription drug costs, eliminating emergency room visits, and avoiding the need for other medical services. “We are determined to make Missouri a best in class Medicaid program that provides access to healthcare for Missouri’s most vulnerable in a way that is financially sustainable for our state. This is a step in the right direction,” said Richardson. “MO HealthNet is actively pursuing treatment options to optimize health care outcomes, keep Missourians safe, and save taxpayer dollars.”

The MO HealthNet Web site has Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Chronic Pain information and details on upcoming Webinars to help providers learn more about this new treatment option.

The mission of the Department of Social Services is to lead the nation in building the capacity of individuals, families and communities to secure and sustain healthy, safe, and productive lives. Visit to learn more about the Department of Social Services and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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Rebecca Woelfel