The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $94 million in Affordable Care Act funding was awarded to 271 health centers late last week. The awards have a specific focus on treatment of opioid use disorders in underserved populations, including access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT).
View a list of the award winners here.
According to HHS, the investment is expected to help centers hire approximately 800 providers to treat nearly 124,000 new patients. Administered by the HHS Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awards will increase the number of patients screened for substance use disorders and connected to treatment, increase access to MAT, and provide training to help health professionals make informed prescribing decisions.
“The opioid epidemic is one of the most pressing public health issues in the United States today,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell, in a statement. “Expanding access to medication-assisted treatment and integrating these services in health centers bolsters nationwide efforts to curb opioid misuse and abuse, supports approximately 124,000 new patients accessing substance use treatment for recovery and helps save lives.”
HHS officials say the department is focused on: improving opioid prescribing practices, increasing the use of naloxone, and increasing access to MAT.