CMS to Provide $15M to States for SUD Mobile Intervention Services

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it will award over $15 million in planning grants to 20 states to support the development and implementation of community-based mobile crisis intervention services for Medicaid beneficiaries with substance use disorder. Under the award, Alabama, California, Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia can use the funding to integrate mobile crisis intervention services into their Medicaid programs by strengthening information systems, conducting assessments of current services, providing behavioral healthcare training to teams, and receiving technical assistance to support State Plan Amendments, demonstration applications, and waiver program requests. The mobile services will be available to beneficiaries 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will be funded through the American Rescue Plan. In a press release, CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said, “With these grants, CMS is taking strides to connect individuals in crisis with the high-quality, expert care they need. Providing behavioral health care experts as alternatives to police is an example of how we can better help communities deliver on the behavioral health needs of all its residents.” A list of award recipients can be found here.

Articles & Resources

CMS – Biden-Harris Administration Awards $15 Million to 20 States for Mobile Crisis Intervention


Legislation Introduced to Support Treatment Programs in Rural Communities

Last week, Senators Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced the Rural Opioid Abuse Prevention Act to provide resources to rural communities and support community-based efforts that address the challenges of the opioid epidemic. The bill would enhance the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Rural Responses to the Opioid Epidemic Initiative by ensuring that the funding for the program, which is provided through DOJ’s Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program, continues. The bill would enable grants for community response pilot programs in rural areas that would help identify gaps in services in the criminal justice system and provide support for local governments and organizations in rural communities that provide substance use disorder services. In a press release, Senator Grassley said, “We’ve made some progress in fighting the opioid crisis, but with overdose deaths rising, Congress needs to act. Our bill will help communities in Iowa and across the country to prevent and handle any surge in opioid overdoses. I look forward to working to pass this bipartisan legislation and preventing more Americans from falling victim to addiction, including those individuals in the criminal justice system.” Representatives Conor Lamb (D-PA-17) and Randy Feenstra (R-IA-04) introduced companion legislation in the House in April.

Articles & Resources

Bill Text

Senator Jon Ossoff – Sens. Ossoff, Grassley Introduce Groundbreaking Bipartisan Legislation to Help Rural Communities Combat Opioid Epidemic


Lawmakers Hold Discussion with ONDCP on Administration’s Drug Policy Priorities

On September 23rd, the members of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force hosted a discussion with Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Acting Director, Regina LaBelle, to learn about the Biden-Harris administration’s priorities for addressing the opioid epidemic and discuss ways in which Congress can support substance use disorder prevention. During the discussion, lawmakers asked Acting Director LaBelle about the administration’s recommendations for addressing fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances and the current plans for expanding access to substance use disorder treatment. Following the meeting, Acting Director LaBelle noted, “Today’s meeting was also an opportunity to discuss actions the Biden-Harris Administration is taking to address addiction and the overdose epidemic, as well as its ongoing work to reduce the supply of drugs. We also discussed the urgent need for Congress to fund President Biden’s budget request to expand access to substance use prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery support services. I look forward to continuing to work with Congress to support evidence-based solutions that can help save lives.”

Articles & Resources

Representative Annie Kuster – Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force Holds Discussion with ONDCP Acting Director Regina LaBelle


What We Read Last Week

Several articles were published last week pertaining to the opioid epidemic, covering a variety of different components of the issue. Links to relevant articles are provided below.

Articles & Resources

AMA – Report shows decreases in opioid prescribing, increase in overdoses

Bloomberg Government – Fentanyl Analogue Ban Punted to 2022 Under Spending Bill

Commonwealth of Kentucky – Kentucky Launches Program to Help Employers Retain Workforce, Provide Access to Treatment for Addiction

DEA – National Health Care Fraud Enforcement Action Results in Charges Involving over $1.4 Billion in Alleged Losses

Health IT Buzz – The Marriage of Technology and Policy: How Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances Has Impacted Opioid Prescriptions in New York

Infectious Disease Advisor – Update on Medications for Opioid Use Disorder: Clinician Perspectives

Journal of Addiction Medicine – Causes of Death in the 12 months After Hospital Discharge Among Patients With Opioid Use Disorder

NPR – Methamphetamine Deaths Soar, Hitting Black And Native Americans Especially Hard

Rand Corporation – Consensus-based Approach to Managing Opioids, Including Opioid Misuse and Opioid Use Disorder, in Patients with Serious Illness

Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine – Buprenorphine management in the perioperative period: educational review and recommendations from a multisociety expert panel

Senator Angus King – Collins, King, Golden Announce $2.5 Million Grant to Help Combat Opioid Epidemic in Aroostook County

Senator Angus King – King Announces Nearly $1 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment

The Boston Globe – Reimagining public health infrastructure in the 21st century

The Boston Globe – Secrets and stigma lead to record number of opioid overdose deaths

The Hill – Lawmakers, Biden official call for bipartisan action on opioid addiction

The New Yorker – An Insider from the Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy Speaks Out


This Week’s Calendar

In the week ahead, there are no relevant events or hearings noticed at this time. In the event that there are any changes to the schedule for this week, we will make additional information available.


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