*a copy of this letter was also sent to Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. 

March 6, 2018

The Honorable Richard Neal, Ranking Member
Committee on Ways and Means
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Ranking Member Neal:

On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I am writing to express our support for H. R. 5085, the “Expanding Access to Evidence-Based Opioid Treatment for Seniors Act of 2018,” which you and Representative Frank Pallone introduced to provide Medicare coverage of Opioid Treatment Programs (OTP).

Under current law, Medicare does not recognize substance abuse treatment facilities as an independent provider type, nor is there an integrated payment for the bundle of services they provide.  However, both Medicaid and private insurance cover treatment provided in outpatient Opioid Treatment Centers.  Your legislation would ensure that Medicare beneficiaries have access to medication-assisted treatment, along with counseling and behavioral therapies, through a bundled package of services.  Unfortunately, opioid abuse is growing among our nation’s senior population, and it is important that Medicare beneficiaries have access to all forms of effective treatment.

Thank you for your leadership on this critical issue.  We look forward to working with you to secure enactment of the “Expanding Access to Evidence-Based Opioid Treatment for Seniors Act,” which would improve the Medicare program and help combat the opioid crisis in our country.


Max Richtman
President and CEO