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ASAM President Joins Addiction Physician Organizations for Meeting with HHS Secretary Tom Price

June 19, 2017

DATA 2000 Groups at HHS June 2017 

On Monday, June 19, ASAM President Dr. Kelly Clark joined leaders from the American Psychiatric Association (APA), American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP), and American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM) in a meeting with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Dr. Tom Price, to discuss solutions to the nation’s opioid epidemic. 

During the intimate meeting, each organization had the opportunity to present its recommendations for HHS action, and participate in extended discussion with the Secretary about the best approaches for increasing treatment access and preventing overdose deaths.

All four organizations were united in their recommendations to ensure ongoing funding for evidence-based treatment, invest in the addiction physician specialist workforce, and combat the stigma of addiction. On behalf of ASAM, Dr. Clark recommended that HHS:

  • Ensure every grant dollar it distributes is funding a program or activity that is evidence-based;
  • Launch a national public education campaign about addiction and its treatment;
  • Work with payers and purchasers – including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), private insurers, and employers – to make sure they are covering and adequately paying for evidence-based care, and increase parity enforcement against plans that are not; and
  • Solicit commitments from medical, nursing, dental, pharmacy and other clinical schools to increase curriculum time devoted to addiction screening and treatment, safe prescribing and pain management.

All four organizations are committed to working with HHS to implement policies that promote evidence-based treatment, and all four expressed support for the nomination of ASAM member Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz to the position of Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use.