Health Law Scan

Legal Insights and Perspectives for the Healthcare Industry

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced more than $1.8 billion in funding to support the prevention and treatment of opioid addiction. This latest round of funding, authorized in conjunction with the continuing implementation of the 2018 SUPPORT Act, will be awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to states and local communities.

The CDC will provide more than $900 million to help state and local governments track overdose data “as closely to real-time as possible.” Packaged as a three-year cooperative agreement “to scale-up prevention and response activities,” the CDC will distribute $301 million in funding for the first year to states, localities, and some territories beginning in September 2019.

SAMHSA will release $932 million in continued funding to support the second year of the State Opioid Response program initiated in 2018. This program provides flexible funding for the states in support of prevention, evidence-based treatment (including a medication-assisted treatment described by HHS as the “gold standard”), and recovery services including those delivered through telemedicine. SAMHSA, which administers the State Opioid Response program, has awarded these grants to every state, the District of Columbia, and the US territories.

This most recent HHS announcement follows last month’s release of nearly $400 million for community health centers, rural organizations, and academic institutions for substance use disorder and mental health services.