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  • Washington Highlights

    Senate Finance Subcommittee Discusses Improving Substance Use Disorder Care


    Layla Ahmadi, Government Relations Health Policy Intern
    Sinead Hunt, Legislative Analyst
    For Media Inquiries

    The Senate Finance Health Care Subcommittee on Health Care held an April 9 roundtable discussion entitled “Closing Gaps in the Care Continuum: Opportunities to Improve Substance Use Disorder Care in the Federal Health Programs.” This session served as a platform for subcommittee members to gain insights into barriers to care for addiction and substance use across key federal programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Topics discussed included flexibilities for tele-behavioral health care, including remote prescribing of buprenorphine and other controlled substances; the harmful effect of prior authorization on patients with substance use disorder; the impact of insufficient reimbursement on network adequacy; and strategies to strengthen the behavioral health workforce. Subcommittee members discussed actions to incentivize the development of innovative reimbursement models for substance use disorder care and improve the continuum of care. 

    Participants included Paul Christine, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Denver Health; Sarah Bagley, MD, professor of medicine and pediatrics at Boston Medical Center and Boston University Aram V. Chobanian & Edward Avedisian School of Medicine; and Brendan Saloner, PhD, professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.