Representatives from both sides of the aisle joined forces to introduce the Road to Recovery Act - bipartisan legislation that eliminates the Medicaid Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMD) exclusion for substance use disorder and helps states expand access to inpatient treatment for its enrollees.
- The bill amends the Social Security Act and CHIP to provide coverage for residential substance use disorder treatment. This provision effectively removes the barrier to residential treatment while maintaining quality as it applies to licensed and accredited facilities determined by a state’s drug and alcohol authority and the US Department of Health and Human Services.
- The bill removes the 16-bed limit currently in federal law. This provision would allow all facilities to fall outside the scope of an IMD exclusion, regardless of size.
- The bill covers treatment for individuals under 65 years of age. This provision would target specific all patient populations and specifically the most at risk.
- The bill requires periodic review of need for service every 60 days. This provision does not place a floor to ceiling cap on length of stay but maintains patient accountability by enforcing a periodic review no less than every 60 days. This provision allows patients to seek a treatment plan that best meets their efficacy whether it be short-term or long term residential treatment.
- The bill allows states to set standards for criteria. Patient populations and the size of the epidemic varies across the nation. This provision provides states the flexibility on how to implement care as they do with most types of care under the joint federal-state program.
“The Road to Recovery Act is an important and long overdue piece of legislation that NAADAC fully supports,” stated NAADAC’s Executive Director, Cynthia Moreno Tuohy. “Removing the 16-bed limit on treatment facilities and the cap on length of stay are imperative steps for expanding access to and the effectiveness of impatient treatment for those living with substance use disorder and co-occurring disorders. The proposed legislation will allow residential treatment facilities to have increased funding available for all types of treatment, become more self-sustainable, increase the quality of their work, and ultimately save more lives.”
The bill was introduced by Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH) and Donald Norcross (D-NJ).
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NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, represents the professional interests of more than 85,000 addiction counselors, educators and other addiction-focused healthcare professionals in the United States, Canada, and abroad. NAADAC’s members are addiction counselors, educators, and other addiction-focused health care professionals, who specialize in addiction prevention, treatment, recovery support, and education. An important part of the healthcare continuum, NAADAC members, and its 47 state affiliates work to create healthier individuals, families and communities through prevention, intervention, quality treatment and recovery support.