State halts Medicaid payments to detox center, leaving void for thousands

WBRZ - The State Department of Health confirmed Tuesday that Medicaid stopped paying the Baton Rouge Detox Center on Foster Drive reimbursements over a lack of accreditation.

The accreditation from one of three different agencies is the gold standard that the state uses and is required for clinics to get Medicaid dollars.

The Baton Rouge Area Alcohol and Drug Center lacks that accreditation and the state notified them Tuesday their payments would be suspended. The lack of reimbursements is a huge problem, as the clinical director said approximately 90 to 95 percent of the patients that seek treatment there are on Medicaid.

Tonja Myles is a Peer Support Specialist at the Capital Area Human Services District.

"The Baton Rouge Detox Center is vital to our community," Myles said. "What happens to the clients? I had one person call and they said they didn't take their Medicaid. They said they weren't in network. Unfortunately, that person had to leave without getting the help they need. Those beds are vital."