FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 19, 2023
Key Addiction Provisions Included in the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Reauthorization Act will Bolster the Addiction Care Workforce and Expand Access to Addiction Medicine
Rockville, MD – Today, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) applauded the House Energy & Commerce Committee for voting to include key provisions in the bipartisan H.R. 4531 – the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Reauthorization Act, legislation which aims to address the nation’s ongoing addiction and overdose crisis. ASAM commended the Committee for advancing the following provisions—which are vital to bolstering the addiction care workforce and expanding access to evidence-based addiction care:
- Reauthorization of the Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery (STAR) Loan Repayment Program: The Committee voted to reauthorize the STAR Loan Repayment Program for $40M for each fiscal year 2024 through 2028. This program assists with recruiting and retaining substance use disorder (SUD) professionals.
- Permanent Extension of the State Medicaid Plan Requirement to Cover All Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and Related Counseling and Behavioral Therapies: The Committee voted to make permanent a temporary requirement from the SUPPORT Act of 2018 for state Medicaid programs to cover all forms of medications for the treatment of OUD, including methadone, and concerning the provision of such medications, counseling services, and behavioral therapy. The current requirement expires in 2025.
- Partial Lifting of Medicaid’s Institutions for Mental Disease (IMD) Exclusion for SUD: The Committee voted to make permanent the SUPPORT Act of 2018’s state plan amendment option that allows state Medicaid programs to cover evidence-based SUD treatment at inpatient or residential substance use disorder treatment programs – with more than 16 beds – for up to 30 days of treatment per year, per beneficiary.
- Removal of Limitations on Medicaid Coverage for Pregnant Women Who Are Incarcerated Pending Disposition of Charges: The Committee voted to amend the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy to permit full Medicaid coverage for incarcerated pregnant beneficiaries pending disposition of charges.
“With the country recording the highest-ever number of drug overdose deaths in a single year, it’s clear that the addiction and overdose crisis has been exacerbated by a lack of access to evidence-based addiction treatment,” said Brian Hurley, MD, MBA, FAPA, DFASAM, president of ASAM. “While bipartisan legislation––including the SUPPORT Act of 2018, the Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act, and the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act—made major strides that position healthcare practitioners to provide evidence-based addiction treatment, additional steps must be taken to strengthen the nation’s addiction treatment infrastructure further and save lives. ASAM commends the House Energy & Commerce Committee for advancing these critical provisions today.”
Addiction treatment barriers contribute to the nation’s record number of drug overdose deaths, surging to a predicted 110,511 deaths in 2022. ASAM looks forward to continuing working with this Congress and other stakeholders to further break down those barriers, including by finding additional ways to expand access to methadone for the treatment of OUD through the expertise of addiction specialist physicians.
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About the American Society of Addiction Medicine
The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), founded in 1954, is a professional medical society representing over 7,000 physicians, clinicians and associated professionals in the field of addiction medicine. ASAM is dedicated to increasing access and improving the quality of addiction treatment, educating physicians and the public, supporting research and prevention and promoting the appropriate role of physicians in the care of patients with addiction. For more information, visit www.ASAM.org.