The Iowa Managed Substance Abuse Care Plan: Access, Utilization, and Expenditures for Medicaid Recipients

Dennis McCarty, Milton Argeriou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

17 Scopus citations


The Iowa Managed Substance Abuse Care Plan (IMSACP) used a behavioral health care organization to manage expenditures for treatment of alcohol and drug dependence financed through Medicaid, block grants, and state appropriations but maintained relatively distinct eligibility and benefit structures for Medicaid-eligible individuals. Medicaid claims, encounters, and eligibility files were reviewed for 2 years before and 3 years after implementation of IMSACP to evaluate changes in access, utilization, and expenditures. The rate of substance abuse treatment doubled, use of inpatient hospital services decreased, and residential and outpatient services increased. Direct care costs decreased, while total expenditures held steady. The Iowa experience suggests that a well-planned initiative can control costs and improve access and utilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-25
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Behavioral Health Services and Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this