A message from Mike Miller, MD, DFASAM, WISAM's Public Policy Chair
The advocacy positions of the AMA are very aligned with those of ASAM. With its rich history and broad membership, AMA's presence and clout opens doors in the legislative arena and Congress pays attention. Below is an excerpt of a recent AMA Advocacy Update. I encourage you to stay abreast of these updates.
AMA Advocacy Update, June 27, 2019
ISSUE SPOTLIGHT: Funding boost needed to close treatment gap for patients with opioid use disorder
The nation's opioid epidemic is worsening as policy, regulatory and especially insurance barriers continue to block access to treatment, AMA President-elect Susan R. Bailey, MD, told Congress.
"The good news is that we know that there are policy and clinical interventions that work and have a direct impact on saving lives and improving care," Dr. Bailey testified last week at a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing. "The bad news is there is a huge gap in access to treatment. It is estimated that less than 35% of adults with opioid-use disorder had received treatment for it in 2018."
Progress continues on multiple fronts. As shown in the AMA Opioid Task Force's 2019 progress report, physicians have significantly lowered the number of opioid prescriptions they write and there are rising numbers of doctors registering with and using their state prescription drug monitoring program, getting certified to provide in-office buprenorphine and prescribing naloxone for at-risk patients.
Medical societies in several states have used the AMA's model legislation to remove commercial and Medicaid prior authorization barriers to medication-assisted treatment (MAT).