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AAMC Endorses Legislation to Increase Access to Care for Patients Addicted to Opioids

July 25, 2014— AAMC Chief Public Policy Officer Atul Grover, M.D., Ph.D., sent a July 16 letter  to Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) to endorse The Recovery Enhancement for Addiction Treatment (TREAT) Act (S.2645). The bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), John D. Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), takes important steps to increase access to care for patients addicted to opioids.

Under current law, qualified medical professionals are limited to providing medication-assisted therapy to no more than 100 patients per year. In his letter, Dr. Grover states, “This restriction has led to wait lists and arbitrarily restricted access to life-saving care, including in our nation’s teaching hospitals that serve a significant number of substance abuse patients each year.”

The TREAT Act would increase the number of opioid patients that qualified physicians are allowed to treat in their first year from 30 up to 100 per year. In addition, the legislation would allow physicians who are substance abuse treatment specialists and non-specialist physicians who are practicing in qualified settings to request exemption from the patient limitation if certain training requirements are met.

As Dr. Grover notes, “By identifying accredited residency and fellowship programs among the ‘qualified settings,’ [this] bill will expand the ability of teaching physicians and hospitals to offer treatment to patients who need it.”


Tannaz Rasouli
Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach
Telephone: 202-828-0525


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
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Telephone: 202-903-0806