DearColleague.us

Letter

Sending Office: Honorable Ann M. Kuster
Sent By:
Marisa.Salemme@mail.house.gov

Support the Substance Use Disorder Workforce Training Demo Program

DEADLINE: COB Wednesday, March 11

Click HERE to sign

 

Dear Colleague: 

Please join us in requesting the funding necessary to support the Mental and Substance Use Disorder Workforce Training Demonstration Program in fiscal year 2021 L-HHS appropriations. 

Congress took a critical step toward addressing this workforce shortage by creating the Mental and Substance Use Disorder Workforce Training Demonstration Program in the Fiscal Year 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations
Act. This program, authorized in the 21st Century CURES Act and administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awards grants to certain institutions to expand the number of fellows trained as addiction specialist
physicians who work in underserved, community-based settings that integrate primary care with mental health disorder and SUD prevention and treatment services.

The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Abuse and the Opioid Epidemic recommended increasing the nation’s accredited fellowship slots to 125 by 2022. As the opioid epidemic continues, funding for the HRSA demonstration program is a significant
step in addressing this gap in the country’s national strategy. Not only is addiction workforce development crucial to combat the opioid epidemic and other current crises, it is crucial for our communities to remain prepared for any future addiction crisis.
The grants provided by this program will help establish academic programs that provide the necessary training to physicians and other clinicians that we need on the frontlines treating Americans suffering from this disease of the brain.

This bipartisan letter requests $30 million for this program in FY21, a $3.3 million dollar increase over the FY20 level.

To support the expansion of the SUD workforce and sign on our bipartisan letter, please fill out this formIf
you have any questions, please contact Marisa Salemme (Kuster) at 5-5206 marisa.salemme@mail.house.gov, Jennifer Tyler (Katko) at 5-3701 or Jennifer.tyler@mail.house.gov, or Chelsea Glynn (Delgado) at 5-5614 or Chelsea.glynn@mail.house.gov. The deadline
to sign this letter is COB, Wednesday March 11.

 

 

LETTER TEXT

Dear Chair DeLauro and Ranking Member Cole:

Treating the 21.2 million Americans who need treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD) will require training that is too often lacking in our nation’s current medical workforce. There are only about 5,000 medical doctors with addiction medicine or addiction
psychiatry credential,  and most only practice addiction medicine part-time. As of February 2020, only 75 of the nation’s 179 accredited medical schools offer addiction medicine fellowships—compared with 284 accredited fellowship programs in sports medicine—and
only 59 of those have met the certification criteria set by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

The impact of this workforce shortage is intergenerational. A January 2020 article in
JAMA Pediatrics found that only 1 in 54 youth receive recommended evidence-based medications for addiction treatment after a nonfatal opioid overdose, and indicated a primary reason for this treatment gap to be “a lack of pediatric clinician familiarity
in treating opioid use disorder and overdose.”

Thanks to your leadership, Congress took a critical step toward addressing this workforce shortage by creating the Mental and Substance Use Disorder Workforce Training Demonstration Program in the Fiscal Year 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education
and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. This program, authorized in the 21st Century CURES Act and administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awards grants to certain institutions to expand the number of fellows trained
as addiction specialist physicians who work in underserved, community-based settings that integrate primary care with mental health disorder and SUD prevention and treatment services.

The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Abuse and the Opioid Epidemic has recommended quickly increasing the number of fellowships to address the opioid crisis to 125 fellowships by 2022. Funding for the HRSA demonstration program is critical for meeting
this goal. Therefore, we respectfully request $30 million for this program in FY21, a $3.3 million increase over the FY20 level.

We recognize the difficult task you face in balancing the many needs of our nation in the Fiscal Year 2021 Labor-HHS appropriations bill, and we appreciate your consideration of this request.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, HealthCare

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