President Joe Biden Signs Important Addiction Legislation
On December 29, 2022, President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act into law. This Act includes three bills that will greatly improve treatment for substance use disorder (SUD):
- Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act (H.R. 2067 / S. 2235)
- Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act (H.R. 1384 / S. 445)
- Collaborate in an Orderly and Cohesive Manner Act (H.R. 5218)
Together with many partner organizations, Shatterproof advocated for the passage of these three pieces of legislation to improve access to effective, science-based treatment for substance use disorder.
What is the MATE Act?
The Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act ensures that all DEA-controlled medication prescribers have a baseline knowledge of how to prevent addiction and how to identify, treat, and manage patients who have substance use disorders.
Specifically, the MATE Act requires all prescribers of federally controlled substances to complete 8 hours of training on treating and managing patients with opioid use disorder and SUD.
What is the MAT Act?
Before the MAT Act, healthcare workers had to apply for a separate waiver through the DEA to dispense buprenorphine, a medication to treat opioid use disorder. However, the MAT Act completely eliminates this requirement.
We know that removing barriers to buprenorphine saves lives: For example, France saw a 79% decline in fatal overdoses over three years after buprenorphine prescribing regulations were eliminated.
What is the Collaborate in an Orderly and Cohesive Manner Act?
The Collaborate in an Orderly and Cohesive Manner Act provides grants and technical assistance to primary care providers that adopt the Collaborative Care Model (CoCM).
CoCM is an integrative treatment approach to improve outcomes for behavioral health conditions, including SUDs, in the primary care setting. It involves a team-based approach which includes a primary care provider, care management staff, and a specialty addiction or psychiatric consultant. CoCM relies on universal screening and measurement-based care to track patient progress through validated clinical rating scales. With over 80 randomized control clinical trials showing its effectiveness, CoCM is a science-based practice for integrated care settings.
What happens now?
Now that these three bills have passed as part of the omnibus legislation, healthcare providers will be better trained to identify and treat SUD, they can more easily provide science-based, effective care for those struggling with opioid use disorder, and behavioral health care will be better integrated into mainstream health care.