Mark Parrino, the president of American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence, wrote a compelling article promoting the use of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) to curb the opioid epidemic.
Perhaps the most conclusive statistic he presented in his highly informative article supporting the use of MAT for the treatment of opioid use disorder was this:
“Fifty percent of opioid addicted individuals who undergo MAT remain free of illicit drug use after 18 months [in treatment]. By contrast, 90 percent of individuals who try to discontinue opioids without MAT relapse within a year.”
Why isn’t MAT more widely accepted, promoted and used you may ask?
Here’s why, according to Parrino’s article:
Medicare does not cover MAT.
Many states’ Medicare programs do not cover MAT.
Most commercial health insurers do not cover MAT.
Parrino suggests that hope is on the horizon however.
“Fortunately, there is bipartisan Congressional support for providing such Medicare Part B coverage to Medicare beneficiaries, who are treated in opioid treatment programs,” he writes.
Furthermore, he says, “a number of policy making groups and organizations, including the American Medical Association and the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, have urged them to change these policies so that everyone has access to treatment.”
At New Season, we’re honored and privileged to be part of the solution to end the opioid epidemic.