Opioid Substitution Treatment, Treatment Programs, and Insurance Coverage
"In 2016 only 13.8 percent of substance use treatment programs accepted Medicare and offered an FDA-approved medication for opioid use disorder treatment (exhibit 1). While the percentage of programs that offered such treatment was low across all insurance types (24.8 percent among programs that accepted Medicaid and 28.6 percent among programs that accepted private insurance), access for Medicare beneficiaries was nearly twice as limited. Furthermore, just 20.8 percent of US counties—home to roughly 60 percent of the Medicare population—had at least one treatment program that accepted Medicare and offered buprenorphine or injectable naltrexone for older adults (exhibit 2). The majority of counties with at least one treatment program that accepted Medicare and offered an opioid use disorder treatment medication (65.1 percent) were in urban areas (data not shown). In 2016, 36.4 percent of treatment programs accepted Medicare, compared to 63.7 percent that accepted Medicaid and 70.3 percent that accepted private insurance. Of the treatment programs that accepted private insurance, 46.5 percent also accepted Medicare. Of those that accepted Medicaid, 52.1 percent also accepted Medicare."
Samantha J. Harris, Amanda J. Abraham, Christina M. Andrews, and Courtney R. Yarbrough. Gaps In Access To Opioid Use Disorder Treatment For Medicare Beneficiaries. Health Affairs 2020 39:2, 233-237.