Opioid Use Disorders: HHS Needs Measures to Assess the Effectiveness of Efforts to Expand Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment, Report to Majority Leader, U.S. Senate   [open pdf - 2MB]

The misuse of prescription opioid pain relievers and illicit opioids, such as heroin, has contributed to increases in overdose deaths. According to the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, in 2015 over 52,000 people died of drug overdose deaths, and about 63 percent of them involved an opioid. For those who are addicted to or misuse opioids, MAT [Medication-Assisted Treatment] has been shown to be an effective treatment. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to review HHS [Department of Health and Human Services] and other efforts related to MAT for opioid use disorders. This report (1) describes HHS's key efforts to expand access to MAT, (2) examines HHS's evaluation, if any, of its efforts to expand access to MAT, and (3) describes efforts by selected stakeholders (states, private health insurers, and national associations) to expand access to MAT. GAO gathered information from HHS officials as well as a non-generalizable selection of 15 stakeholders selected based on their MAT expansion activities, among other factors. GAO also assessed HHS's evaluation plans using internal control standards for defining objectives and evaluating results. [...] GAO recommends that HHS take two actions: (1) establish performance measures with targets related to expanding access to MAT, and (2) establish timeframes for its evaluation of its efforts to expand access to MAT. HHS concurred with both recommendations.

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Public Domain
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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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