Reps. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), David McKinley (R-W.Va.), and Annie Kuster (D-N.H.) introduced the Substance Use Disorder Workforce Act of 2021 in the House of Representatives on May 20. This bipartisan legislation would make available 1,000 new Medicare-supported residency positions to hospitals that have — or are in the process of establishing — approved residency programs in addiction medicine, addiction psychiatry, or pain medicine.
Upon introduction, AAMC President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, and Chief Public Policy Officer Karen Fisher, JD, issued a statement supporting the legislation. They emphasized that the legislation “takes a crucial step in addressing the devastating impact of overdose deaths, substance use disorders, and chronic pain.”
Of the 1,000 positions provided for in the legislation, 500 would be set aside for hospitals with established programs in addiction medicine, addiction psychiatry, or pain medicine, and 500 slots would be set aside for hospitals that are in the process of establishing such programs. Hospitals would not be able to receive more than 25 slots each.
The Senate companion legislation, the Opioid Workforce Act of 2021 (S.1438), was introduced on April 28 by Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) [refer to Washington Highlights, April 30].