State Chapter advocacy complements ASAM’s federal advocacy to ensure mental health and addiction treatment services are covered on par with medical and surgical services by both public and private payers and are not subject to arbitrary limits or unfair utilization controls.  For example, a robust body of research shows that medications for addiction treatment, such as buprenorphine, naltrexone, and methadone, are highly effective for the treatment of OUD. However, utilization management techniques – such as prior authorization – restrict patient access to these life-saving treatments. A delay of just one day is enough time for a patient to relapse, overdose, or suffer other consequences that can adversely affect their treatment outcome.

Recent State Chapter Advocacy Successes:

  • In 2017, advocacy by the Maryland-DC Society of Addiction Medicine was instrumental to the passage of the first-in-the-nation law removing prior authorization on medications for addiction treatment.
  • In 2018, Illinois passed legislation to create the strongest state mental health parity law in the nation. The law prohibits prior authorization and step therapy requirements for FDA-approved medications to treat SUD and requires health benefit plans to base all medical necessity determinations for SUD treatment on the most recent version of The ASAM Criteria.
  • In 2019, advocacy from the Colorado Society of Addiction Medicine played a key role in the passage of a bill that included all elements of the American Psychiatric Association’s model parity bill, including insurance reporting requirements, insurance department enforcement mechanisms, and removal of prior authorization and step therapy requirements for medications for addiction treatment.

Examples of Related State Chapter Advocacy:

  • Build on the momentum of the mental health parity movement by advancing the American Psychiatric Association’s state model parity bill, engaging with state insurance regulators, and joining coalitions with patient advocates to advance shared goals.
  • Advocate for legislation that requires payers to make medical necessity determinations using the most recent version of The ASAM Criteria.

Focus Areas

Quick Links

Advocacy Toolkits

ASAM provides toolkits to help you advocate for public policies that advance addiction medicine and promote access to treatment

Legislative Tracker

Follow the latest federal and state bills and regulations that affect addiction medicine practice

ASAM Advocacy Roadmap

ASAM's past successes and future legislative and regulatory priorities.