Mandatory Counseling for MAT Funding

Petition: Make Counseling and Therapeutic Intervention Mandatory for Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Funding

STATUS: Active


Major legislation has been passed regarding the opioid crisis and addiction, most recently HR-6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. While this is definitely progress, there is still much left to be done.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of medications with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorders and prevent opioid overdose. It provides a "whole patient" approach to this treatment.

Research shows that a combination of medication and therapy can successfully treat these disorders, and for some people struggling with addiction, MAT can help sustain recovery. MAT has proven to be clinically effective and reduces the need for inpatient detoxification services significantly.

Under federal law, patients must receive counseling when getting MAT. However, this law is all but ignored in funding packages from the federal government that do not correlate funding to the delivery of counseling and behavioral therapies in conjunction with medication prescribed to the patient.

Call to Action

We, the undersigned, call on the Congress of the United States to require the counseling and behavioral therapies component of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) mandatory to any organization or entity receiving government funding for MAT. We further ask that evidence-based practices be required in the delivery of counseling and behavioral therapies associated with MAT.

HR-6 increased access to MAT, but legislation needs to make sure counseling and behavioral therapies is included in any funding packages.

Pharmaceuticals Pay for SUD Treatment

STATUS: Delivered December 2018 to President Donald Trump, the United States House of Representatives, and the United States Senate


69,073: that's the number of reported overdose deaths in 2017 according to the Center for Disease Control. The National Institutes of Health has stated that only 10% of individuals with diagnosed substance use disorder actually receive treatment. Meanwhile, the American Medical Association states that relapse rates from abstinence vary between 40% and 60%.

The conclusion? People with substance use disorder (SUD) are not getting sufficient treatment intervention. Make no mistake, the opioid crisis hits everyone, from the under-served to the wealthy, and across all races, sexual orientations, religions, and age groups. There should be enough treatment for everyone. The state of SUD healthcare in the U.S. is in need of urgent assistance.

Many behavioral and medical healthcare providers agree that adequate funding for accessibly SUD treatment is desperately lacking across the nation.

Call to Action

We the undersigned call on the Congress of the United States to impose taxes or fees on the pharmaceutical manufacturer's distribution of prescription pain management medications. We also call to specifically designate the use of these taxes and fees to pay for state-managed substance use disorder treatment accessibility programs based on the needs of the state as determined by reported opioid overdose deaths.

Repeal the IMD Exclusion, America’s Biggest Barrier to Addiction Treatment and Mental Health Access

STATUS: Delivered May 2018 to President Donald Trump, the United States House of Representatives, and the United States Senate
RESULT: IMD Exclusion temporarily suspended in SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act signed into law on October 24, 2018.

When will we put an end to the discriminatory policy the limits access to mental health and addiction treatment for the lowest income Americans?

As a citizen and constituent of this great country, I am asking that you put an end to the archaic policy blocking Medicaid beneficiaries nationwide from receiving the mental health and substance abuse care they need by repealing the IMD Exclusion.


Since 1965, the federal IMD Exclusion has prohibited federal Medicaid funding for most patients in need of mental health and substance use disorder residential treatment. The exclusion, found in Section 1905(a)(B) of the Social Security Act, is intended to limit federal responsibility for most types of inpatient and residential facilities with a behavioral healthcare focus (including addiction treatment), leaving the financial burden on the states.

The IMD Exclusion represents an outmoded approach in mental health and addiction treatment, and are inconsistent with the public policy reflected in the 2008 enactment of the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the 2010 enactment of the Affordable Care Act, both of which recognized the critical need to expand access to addiction treatment and mental health to all Americans, including lower-income households that have historically had the least access to care. While the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have circumvented the IMD Exclusion been negotiating state-specific waivers from its provisions, these time-limited and patchwork fixes are an incomplete “band-aid,” leaving many Americans without access and doing nothing to fix the long-term problem.

The time has come for Congress and the President to act and to remove this discriminatory and backward provision from federal law.  Please sign this Petition and help gather 5,000 signatures to register the need for change.

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