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Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment at Health Centers

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a significant component of the treatment protocols for opioid use disorder and plays a large role in combating the opioid epidemic in the United States. Congress has taken sustained action to support MAT services through broadened prescribing authorities, increased Federal funding, and enhanced insurance protections. However, a treatment gap continues to exist where less than 1 percent of the people in the United States who need treatment for substance use disorder receive it. OIG will examine access to MAT through health centers funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Health centers are key entities to expand access to MAT because they provide both primary care and behavioral healthcare services and accept patients regardless of their ability to pay. Additionally, in recent years, HRSA has awarded grant funding specifically to expand access to substance use disorder treatment at health center sites. We will examine how many health centers provide MAT services, what types of services they provide (e.g., specific medications, behavioral health services such as counseling), how many of their providers are waivered to prescribe MAT drugs, and how many patients they are treating with MAT. We will also examine the factors that may either facilitate or hinder the provision of MAT in health centers.

Announced or Revised Agency Title Component Report Number(s) Expected Issue Date (FY)
May 2019 Health Resources & Services Administration Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment at Health Centers Office of Evaluation and Inspections OEI-BL-19-00320 2020