Help Is on the Way: Medicare Coverage of Opioid Treatment Programs

Cynthia Felix, Joshua M. Sharfstein, Yngvild Olsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Opioid use disorder (OUD) among older adults has been increasing, yet evidence still remains scarce for age-specific treatment. We discuss the three US Food and Drug Administration–approved medications used to treat OUD (methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone) and consider evidence gaps in OUD treatment in older adults. Legislation passed in 2018 (the Substance Use Disorder Prevention That Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act [also known as the SUPPORT Act]) expanded Medicare coverage to include bundled payment for OUD treatment through opioid treatment programs, permitting coverage of methadone treatment for the first time. Since the policy change will take effect in January 2020, healthcare providers need to be aware of new opportunities for treatment when caring for older adult patients with OUD. J Am Geriatr Soc 68:637–640, 2020.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-640
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume68
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Keywords

  • Medicare
  • Substance Use Disorder Prevention That Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT Act)
  • medications for addiction treatment
  • methadone
  • older adult
  • opioid addiction
  • opioid use disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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