This year Medicare has started examining prescribing data to identify physicians who write large numbers of prescriptions for narcotic painkillers and stimulants. Next year Medicare will be able to kick doctors out of the program if they are found to be prescribing in abusive ways.
A federal law requires residential addiction treatment centers to have 16 or fewer beds in order to qualify for Medicaid coverage, The New York Times reports. The law is impeding efforts to expand addiction treatment coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
The recent spike in heroin deaths—which is real– is being attributed to heroin mixed with fentanyl. We wring our hands about overdoses, but do little to make effective treatment widely available. Policy changes must be made to end this scandal explains David L. Rosenbloom, PhD, Professor at Boston University School of Public Health.
About 3.7 million Americans, who live in states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, suffer from mental illness, psychological distress or a substance use disorder and don’t have health insurance, according to a recent report.
Major obstacles remain to expanded treatment for addiction through the Medicaid program, according to USA Today. Although the Affordable Care Act requires treatment be offered to people who are newly insured through insurance exchanges or Medicaid, experts say a federal law is limiting available beds nationwide.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act are tremendous steps toward ensuring that all individuals can access substance abuse treatment. But the laws are not silver bullets that will close the treatment gap or help every individual who needs treatment.
As heroin and prescription drug abuse rises in New Hampshire, doctors are seeing more babies born addicted to opioids, a condition known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, reports the New Hampshire Union Leader.