Roadmap on State-Level Efforts to End the Opioid Epidemic

Prepared in partnership with the American Medical Association

Manatt Health and the American Medical Association (AMA) have partnered to create the “National Roadmap on State-Level Efforts to End the Opioid Epidemic: Leading-Edge Practices and Next Steps.”  The roadmap is based on an in-depth analysis of the response to the opioid epidemic by four states: Colorado, Mississippi, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

The analysis focuses on state efforts to improve access to high-quality, evidence-based treatment for persons with a substance use disorder (SUD) or the need for comprehensive, multidisciplinary, multimodal pain care, and to increase access to naloxone to save lives from overdose. The analysis also highlights the need to evaluate state-level data and policies to determine what is working while amending actions and policies that may be having unintended consequences.

Four key themes emerged from our work:

  1. States must be willing to use their oversight and enforcement authority.
  2. Medicaid is leading the way.
  3. Grants are helpful, but long-term implementation needs long-term, sustainable funding.
  4. The process of evaluating what works is just starting.

Based on our state-level analysis, Manatt Health and the AMA identified six areas where state regulators, policymakers and other stakeholders can take action:

  • Access to evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder. Remove prior authorization and other barriers to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder—and ensure MAT is affordable.
  • Parity enforcement. Increase oversight and enforcement of mental health and SUD parity laws.
  • Network adequacy/workforce enhancement. Ensure adequate networks that allow for timely access to addiction medicine physicians and other healthcare professionals.
  • Pain management. Enhance access to comprehensive, multidisciplinary, multimodal pain care, including non-opioid and non-pharmacologic pain care options.
  • Access to naloxone. Expand access to naloxone and coordinated care for patients in crisis.
  • Evaluation. Evaluate policies and outcomes to build on the most successful efforts and to identify policies and programs that may need to be revised or rescinded.

Click here to read the full roadmap.

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