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New Medicare Benefit: Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

This week, our In Focus section examines the new Medicare benefit for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) treatment that includes counseling, as well as medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and related items and services. This benefit was established by Congress in the SUPPORT Act of 2018 and is now being implemented by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Medicare beneficiaries, including those dually eligible for Medicare & Medicaid, are the fastest growing group of OUD patients. Beneficiaries may access one of two types of providers: Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) (i.e., methadone clinics), or physicians + other health professionals. Providers offering these services will receive a bundled payment, either weekly or monthly depending on the type of provider, that can repeat as long as a patient needs treatment. Based on early guidance, Medicare Advantage (MA) plans have already created 2020 benefit packages that provide a level of access to OTP services that is “consistent with prevailing community patterns of care.”  Now that the new benefit is final, MA will need to cover both OTP & Physician OUD treatment for 2021.

Please click on the image below to review the HMA Insights for additional details and key questions that HMA has identified and continues to monitor.