Big changes to Medicated Assisted Treatment (MAT) for opioid dependence will be taking place as of January 1, 2020!

Recognizing the need for accessible care and that Medicated Assisted Treatment via methadone and buprenorphine is an “an effective treatment for OUD” Medicare will pay for same beginning January 1, 2020 with no out of pocket due from the patient.  Additionally, all states will be required to cover these costs under the Medicaid programs no later than October of 2020 under the SUPPORT Act.  Alternatives for Life Treatment and Recovery (ALTR) is a Medicare approved facility and is accepting new patients.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently recognized that “Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and deaths from prescription and illegal opioid overdoses have reached alarming levels.” Further, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that due to the staggering number of opioid related overdose deaths, “OUD has become a public health crisis.” According to CMS, “The Medicare population, including individuals who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, has the fastest growing prevalence of OUD compared to the general adult population, with more than 300,000 beneficiaries diagnosed with OUD in 2017.”  In order to combat this epidemic, Medicare will begin paying for treatment for beneficiaries with opioid dependence with no deductibles or co-payments due from the patient.

Methadone for MAT, which can only be dispensed and administered by an opioid treatment program (OTP) such as Alternatives for Life Treatment and Recovery (ALTR) is known and accepted as a safe and effective form or treatment for OUD.  This treatment has been approved by Congress, FDA and DEA for over 45 years (Narcotic Addiction Treatment Act of 1974).  In fact, methadone treatment is considered the gold standard for opioid dependence.

The FDA specifically approved the use of buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone for OUD noting that “all three of these medications have been demonstrated to be safe and effective in combination with counseling and psychosocial support and at those seeking treatment for an OUD should be offered access to all three options.”  The DEA recognizes the need for MAT programs and also approves these programs through certifications.

ALTR has been approved to treat OUD with high levels of certifications and licensure since 2005 and has successfully treated thousands of patients.  ALTR is accepting new patients and looks forward to providing this much needed addiction treatment to Medicare beneficiaries and any other person suffering from opioid dependence.


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