AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, issued the following statement about the Senate introduction of the Opioid Workforce Act of 2019 (S.2892), which would support new residency positions to improve patient access to care and address the opioid epidemic:
“As communities across the country continue to deal with the devastating effects of substance use disorders and chronic pain, we enthusiastically thank Senators Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) for introducing the Opioid Workforce Act of 2019. This targeted and necessary approach to addressing the opioid epidemic will help patients access the care they need by increasing the number of physicians specifically trained to care for patients with substance use disorders.
In 2018, only 11% of individuals with a substance use disorder received treatment and 50 million Americans battled chronic pain. This bipartisan legislation would expand access to care for these individuals by adding 1,000 new Medicare-supported graduate medical education positions over the next five years in hospitals that have, or are in the process of establishing, accredited residency programs in addiction medicine, addiction psychiatry, or pain medicine.