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Utilization of Medication-Assisted Treatment in Medicare

The opioid crisis remains a public health emergency. The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic makes the need to focus on the opioid crisis even more pressing. The National Institutes of Health recently issued a warning that individuals with opioid use disorder could be particularly hard hit by COVID-19. An important step in addressing the crisis is to focus on concerns about access to treatment. Recent OIG studies have found that the utilization of drugs for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is low and that concerns exist related to access. The Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act requires Medicare to cover certain treatment services provided by opioid treatment programs, including methadone. This study will assess the extent to which Medicare beneficiaries with opioid use disorder are receiving MAT drugs through Medicare and the extent to which they are receiving counseling or behavioral therapies. It will also determine whether Medicare beneficiaries with opioid use disorder who are not receiving MAT drugs have certain characteristics in common.

Announced or Revised Agency Title Component Report Number(s) Expected Issue Date (FY)
June 2020 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Utilization of Medication-Assisted Treatment in Medicare Office of Evaluation and Inspections OEI-02-20-00390 2022