Quality & Science

22 Senators Call on HHS to Increase Access to Addiction Treatment

by | June 1, 2016

On June 1, a bipartisan group of 22 senators, led by Senators Hatch (R-UT) and Markey (D-MA), sent a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell calling on HHS to increase access to addiction treatment by raising the DATA 2000 patient limit to 500 patients.

The letter commends HHS for taking administrative action to raise the limit, but notes that raising the cap to 200 patients, which is what HHS proposed, "will be unlikely to make the meaningful impact needed in the marketplace to make buprenorphine a viable treatment option for patients." It notes that such an increase would be consistent with the recent bipartisan compromise on S. 1455, the Recovery Enhancement for Addiction Treatment (TREAT) Act.

ASAM applauds these senators for their commitment to closing the addiction treatment gap and working to reduce the arbitrary barriers that prevent patients from accessing evidence-based care.

The letter to HHS is also signed by Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Christopher Murphy (D-CT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Rand Paul (R-KY), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).