December 20, 2021
Opioid/Substance Use Disorders
  • A new HHS Office of the Inspector General report found that less than 16 percent of more than one million Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with opioid use disorder in 2020 received medication to treat the condition. Furthermore, less than one third of those who received medication in an office-based setting also received behavioral therapy. Most beneficiaries who received medication in office-based settings received buprenorphine. In response to these findings, the OIG recommended that the CMS better educate beneficiaries about Medicare coverage of treatment for opioid use disorder, increase the number of providers, provide and collect better data on beneficiaries receiving treatment including through telehealth, encourage behavioral therapy, and create an action plan to address disparities in treatment. (Report here)