Addiction Policy News

ASAM Sends Feedback to CMS About Proposed 2022 Fee Schedule Changes

September 16, 2021

On September 10th, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) submitted a comment letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) outlining suggested improvements to the proposed Physician Payment Schedule for calendar year (CY) 2022. Among other recommendations, ASAM urged that CMS work with Congress to avoid a 2.5% cut in reimbursements for addiction medicine (ADM), finalize coding and payment rules for take-home naloxone nasal spray, and extend audio-only flexibility for opioid treatment programs (OTPs) to furnish therapy and counseling payments for substance use disorder (SUD).   

                                                                     

In the letter, ASAM acknowledged the COVID-19 pandemic’s exacerbating impact on overdose deaths and substance use. Citing statistics that millions of Americans are unable to receive SUD treatment, ASAM underscored the need for federal initiative to expand access to treatment more widely. Additionally, the letter detailed the detrimental effects that the proposed cut to reimbursements for addiction medicine would have on addiction specialist physicians (ASPs) and their practices. ASPs endured great hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic but have persevered to provide high-quality care for their patients. As such, their commitment deserves to be rewarded through greater investments from CMS for CY 2022—investments that would expand patient access to SUD treatment in turn.