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Election 2020: Where Trump and Biden Stand on Mental Health and Substance Use Issues

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, half of Americans report that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to related stress and worry. Many are, or will be, struggling with mental health challenges due to anxiety, social isolation, loss of loved ones, and job losses – potentially leading to increased mental…

COVID-19, Mental Health, and the 2020 Election: A Review of Candidate Platforms

This brief examines where the candidates stand on four key aspects of the nation’s mental health and substance abuse challenges: the opioid epidemic, suicide rates, mental health parity, and mental health workforce. On each issue, the brief summarizes the policy positions of President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Community Health Centers and Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, emerging evidence suggests drug overdoses, including opioid overdoses, are increasing. As safety net primary care providers, community health centers play a significant role in efforts to address the ongoing opioid crisis and have become a major source of medication-assisted treatment (MAT), the standard of care for those with opioid use disorder (OUD). This issue brief presents findings from a 2019 survey of community health centers on activities related to the prevention and treatment of OUD, with a focus on MAT, to assess services and capacity prior to the recent surge in need.

Opioid Use Disorder among Medicaid Enrollees: Snapshot of the Epidemic and State Responses

As the largest payer of substance use disorder services in the United States, Medicaid plays a central role in state efforts to address the opioid epidemic. In addition to increasing access to addiction treatment services through the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states are expanding Medicaid addiction treatment services, increasing provider reimbursements, restricting opioid prescribing, and implementing delivery system reforms to improve the quality of treatment services. While many states have been tracking progress and challenges in these efforts, uniqueness of state systems can make it difficult to compare or benchmark across states. This brief draws on analyses provided by the Medicaid Outcomes Distributed Research Network (MODRN), a collaborative effort to analyze data across multiple states to facilitate learning among Medicaid agencies. It profiles the opioid epidemic among the Medicaid population in six states participating in MODRN that also have been hard hit by the opioid epidemic: Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. The brief also draws on interviews with officials from the state Medicaid and other health agencies.

State Options for Medicaid Coverage of Inpatient Behavioral Health Services

This report provides data to understand current patterns of Medicaid enrollees’ use of inpatient and outpatient substance use disorder and mental health treatment services; explains the options for states to access federal Medicaid funds for enrollees receiving IMD services; analyzes current Section 1115 waiver activity; and draws on interviews with policymakers using IMD waivers in Vermont, Virginia, and San Diego County to examine successes and challenges

How Connecting Justice-Involved Individuals to Medicaid Can Help Address the Opioid Epidemic

This issue brief identifies key lessons learned from how four states (Missouri, Ohio, New Mexico, Rhode Island) are connecting people leaving the criminal justice system to Medicaid coverage and services, with a focus on medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and supports for people with opioid use disorder. It builds on previous briefs that assessed state efforts to connect people involved in the justice system to Medicaid coverage. It is based on interviews conducted in late 2018 and early 2019 with state Medicaid, behavioral health, and corrections officials in the four states and in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, as well as interviews with managed care organizations, providers, and advocates in those states and published information on the states’ experiences.

The Opioid Epidemic and Medicaid’s Role in Facilitating Access to Treatment

This brief describes nonelderly adults with opioid use disorder, including their demographic characteristics and insurance status, and compares utilization of treatment services among those with Medicaid to those with other types of coverage. It also describes Medicaid financing for opioid treatment and the ways in which Medicaid promotes access to treatment for enrollees with OUD.

Addressing the Opioid Crisis: Medication-Assisted Treatment at Health Care for the Homeless Programs

Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) programs, a subset of community health centers, play a significant role in addressing the opioid epidemic by providing medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT, which combines one of three medications (methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone) with behavioral therapies, is the standard of care for opioid use disorder (OUD). This brief presents findings from an analysis of health center data on the provision of buprenorphine-based MAT, as well as interviews with providers and administrators from 12 HCH programs about strategies they adopted to implement MAT programs.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.