Medicaid makes sense as an effective, efficient and ultimately life-saving resource for patients living with opioid-use disorder (OUD), yet in many states the program represents deadly missed opportunities.
“The AMA is working at the federal and state levels to advocate changes to promote recovery among what research indicates is a population of roughly 2 million adults with OUD. Opioid overdose deaths grew by 10 percent last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We know what works,” said Patrice A. Harris, MD, chair of the AMA Opioid Task Force. “The research shows that medication-assisted treatment [MAT] helps people stay in recovery longer and saves lives.”
The new, provisional figures from the CDC “yet again underscore that this epidemic will not be reversed until we deal with access issues and stigma associated with opioid misuse,” Dr. Harris added.
The AMA has urged all health insurance companies and other payers to remove administrative and other barriers to high-quality, evidence-based treatment for patients with pain and those with opioid use disorder.
Improving Medicaid OUD treatment is essential to turning the tide. Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, which requires at least some OUD provisions, and has helped add many thousands of OUD patients to gain coverage for their treatment.
Adequately serving Medicaid OUD patients requires a multipronged approach, but the common thread among solutions from the AMA and the states leading the way is to increase access to high quality, evidence-based care.”
Source: American Medical Association – September 19, 2018