Important SUD bill legislation passed 

This week the House of Representatives passed the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022 (HR 7666), which incorporated the Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act (H.R. 2067 / S. 2235), the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act (HR 1384), and the Collaborate in an Orderly and Cohesive Manner Act (HR 5218).  This legislation is a crucial step forward to ensure people with substance use disorder have greater access to effective, evidence-based treatment. 

“Given the current addiction crisis ravaging our communities, this legislation is imperative in ensuring that providers can identify, treat, and manage patients who have substance use disorders. Shatterproof is grateful to the Energy and Commerce Committee for approving the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022 and the House of Representatives for passing this legislation.  We appreciate the support of so many Shatterproof supporters who used their voices to urge their representatives to pass this important legislation, said Kevin Roy, Chief Policy Officer, Shatterproof. “It is critical that the Senate also passes this bill so that we can empower providers to better address the addiction crisis our nation is facing.”

Included in the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022 are:

The Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act to ensure 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 been afflicted with a substance use disorder (SUD).

Specifically, the MATE Act would:

• Require all federally controlled substance prescribers to complete 8 hours of training on treating and managing patients with opioid use disorder and SUD, including the appropriate clinical use of all drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of SUD; and

• Reauthorize the Practitioner Education grant program established by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which expands the integration of SUD education into the standard curriculum of health care and health services education programs.

Prescribers in most states would meet the one-time requirement through existing state continuing medical education obligations.

The Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act would eliminate the requirement that a health care practitioner apply for a separate waiver through the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to dispense buprenorphine for maintenance or detoxification treatment for substance use disorders.

Further, the legislation would allow a community health aide or community health practitioner to dispense buprenorphine without registering with the DEA if it is prescribed by a health care practitioner through telemedicine. The bill also directs the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to conduct a national campaign to educate health care practitioners and encourage them to integrate substance use disorder treatment into their practices.

The Collaborate in an Orderly and Cohesive Manner Act would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to award grants and provide technical assistance for implementing and evaluating models of care that integrate the delivery of behavioral health and primary care services, specifically the Collaborative Care Model (CoCM). 

Grants to primary care providers would cover the initial costs of implementing CoCM and would prioritize recipients that provide care to medically underserved populations and in areas where the prevalence of behavioral health conditions exceeds the national average.

CoCM is an integrative treatment approach to improve outcomes for behavioral health conditions, including substance use disorders (SUDs), in the primary care setting. It involves a team-based approach which includes a primary care provider, care management staff (e.g., clinical social worker), and a specialty addiction or psychiatric consultant. CoCM relies on measurement-based care to track patient progress through validated clinical rating scales. With over 80 randomized control clinical trials showing its effectiveness, CoCM is an evidence-based practice for integrated care settings.

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