Grassroots Action Center

Fighting the Opioid Crisis
March 14, 2022 by NBCC Government Affairs

Fighting the Opioid Crisis

As the opioid epidemic continues to march forward leaving a path of destroyed lives and overdoses in its wake, several states and various organizations are taking measures to raise awareness and increase access to treatment through telehealth and increased funding for mental health and substance abuse services. Renowned supermodel and philanthropist Kathy Ireland and former Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan recently met with “USA TODAY” Opinion to talk about fighting the opioid epidemic during the COVID-19 pandemic through innovative uses of telemedicine. View more here: Kathy Ireland/Opioid Interview

In addition, states like Maine and Tennessee are also taking up the mantle to address the opioid epidemic for their residents.


A recent opinion article in the “Tennessean” stressed the importance of continuing telehealth services to treat substance abuse disorder. In April 2022, the COVID-19 era executive orders and special session legislation that expanded permissions for telehealth will expire, creating a dangerous gap in services. Dr. Stephen Loyd, Chief Medical Officer of Cedar Recovery, stated these permissions must be extended, if not made permanent. He cited one of the most crucial COVID-era changes to telehealth policy was the requirement that telehealth services be reimbursed at equal rates to their in-person equivalents. Learn more here: Tennessean Opinion Article Link


The Associated Press recently reported that the state of Maine plans to distribute more than $9 million in additional reimbursements this year to mental health and substance use disorder service providers. The funds will be issued through MaineCare (Maine's Medicaid Program) payments to 442 providers, where they will be used to address immediate workforce needs. They will be funded by the biennial budget passed by the Maine state legislature and signed by Gov. Janet Mills. The bonus payments are supported through The American Rescue Plan legislation passed by Congress last year to help states provide health care funding during the pandemic. To determine whether you are eligible or qualify for additional Medicaid payments for treatment of Medicaid beneficiaries this year, contact the Maine Department of Health and Human Services at 1-866-690-5585 or at 1-207-287-3707.Go here for more information: Maine- $9M-MaineCare Reimbursements


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