NHeLP’s Comments on the Development of a CMS Action Plan to Address the Opioid Epidemic

Executive Summary

In comments to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the National Health Law Program urged the agency to adopt an Action Plan to Prevent Opioid Addiction and Enhance Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) that recognizes the inherent value of the Medicaid program as a tool to combat the epidemic. Numerous studies have demonstrated that states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act have experienced a significant increase in the number of individuals with substance use disorders accessing treatment because of increased availability of services. In addition, CMS should continue to highlight the importance of MAT as the gold standard of care for treatment of substance and opioid use disorders and to encourage states to remove any barriers to accessing MAT for beneficiaries diagnosed with these conditions.

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