Preparing for EHRs and Healthcare reform for Opioid Treatment Providers

Our treatment community and leading policy officials understand that we are in the age of Health Care Reform and Parity Reform. AATOD is part of the Coalition for Whole Health, which is co-chaired by Paul Samuels and Rob Mandersheid. This coalition has provided guidance to federal and state agencies in working through the challenges of Health Care Reform and Parity. One could objectively argue that the patients we treat are in a far better place as a result of these two critical policy changes in the United States.

In spite of these federal reforms, there are challenges in the states with regard to reimbursement for the services provided through addiction treatment providers, including Opioid Treatment Programs and DATA 2000 medical practices. ASAM published major findings on this topic during July 2014. We already know that there are at least 17 states that do not have any Medicaid reimbursement for Opioid Treatment Program services. AATOD is working with our policy partners to change this process so that patients can get access to addiction treatment services through OTPs and DATA 2000 practices as Medicaid beneficiaries get increased access to care through Medicaid reimbursement.

I am referencing the June 9, 2015 correspondence from the Coalition for Whole Health to the acting administrator for the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services. It responds to the proposed rule, which applies to the requirements of MHPAEA to Medicaid NCOs, APBs, and CHIP plans. It lays out recommendations on behalf of the members of the Coalition for Whole Health, which includes AATOD.

It is also important to reference the informational bulletin of July 11, 2014, which was sent to the public by the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, in support of the use of Medication Assisted Treatment for substance use disorders. This is a critically important foundation document, expressing support for how medications can be used effectively to treat addiction. This includes the medications that are also used to treat chronic opioid addiction, including methadone, buprenorphine, and Naltrexone/Vivitrol products.


This will continue to be an extremely dynamic period for our field, treatment providers, and patients. This provides an update of where were are at the present time in 2015 and we very much appreciate our partnership with the Coalition for Whole Health and its member agencies.

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