With new federal funding made available this year, treatment organizations can take advantage of $3.3 billion in grant programs earmarked for the opioid crisis. In some cases, small businesses and for-profits are eligible to apply.
“We’re in midterm elections, and the House is up for grabs,” said Mark Mioduski, principal and director of Cornerstone Government Affairs, speaking at the Treatment Center Executive & Marketing Retreat in Hilton Head, S.C. “Opioids are the center of everyone’s attention.”
There are 100 bills or more cruising through both chambers right now with many Congressional leaders quickly signing off in an effort to align themselves with policies that combat the crisis, Mioduski said. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions unanimously passed S. 2680, the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 recently, with an ambitious agenda that includes everything from getting drug manufacturers to develop non-addictive pain drugs to repayment of student loans for behavioral health clinicians. Meanwhile a House committee passed a collection of 57 bills that have similar provisions.
Mioduski says treatment centers might be able to seek funding in a number programs if they’re willing to put the time into applying. For example, the mental health block grant now has $723 million to allocate, and the State Opioid Response Grants program has $1 billion.
This is real money, but it won’t come easy. Each federal agency has its own nuances. Any treatment center looking to cash in on a grant might need some assistance in managing the process.
“You would need a professional grant writer for many of these, and you might need a partner such as a university,” he said.
What Congress got right
Mioduski said Congress has done a good job in focusing its efforts to address addiction and overdose in the United States.
“What they got right is the need to give a lot of attention to the opioid epidemic that’s killing 116 people a day,” he said. “That’s what they got right.”
However, many Congressional leaders are signing off on bills they haven’t read, he said. There is a lack of evaluation of the pros and cons of the policy proposals, as evidenced by the pace at which the bills are passing through committees.
The Treatment Center Investment & Valuation Retreat brings together owners and senior executives from the addiction treatment and recovery community to meet with key members of the investment and financial community for an exclusive three-day educational, business, and networking event.