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SHM Supports the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act


July 24, 2019

SHM's Policy Efforts

SHM supports legislation that affects hospital medicine and general healthcare, advocating for hospitalists and the patients they serve.

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The Honorable Maggie Hassan
United States Senate
324 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Lisa Murkowski
United States Senate
522 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20501



Dear Senators Hassan and Murkowski,

The Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) is pleased to offer its support for the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act (S. 2074). MAT will eliminate the “X-waiver” required to prescribe buprenorphine, a lifesaving and effective opioid addiction treatment. This legislation will help reduce addiction treatment stigma, ensuring opioid addiction is treated like any other public health emergency that requires access to beneficial and safe treatments.

SHM represents the nation’s hospitalists, who are front-line clinicians in America’s acute care hospitals. Hospitalists focus on managing the general inpatient medical care of hospitalized patients, while working to enhance the performance of their hospitals and health systems. In this role, hospitalists often find themselves on the front lines of the opioid crisis. By eliminating the X-waiver, S. 2074 will provide hospitalists with an additional tool with which to combat the opioid crisis.

Buprenorphine is currently a Schedule III controlled substance that has restrictions placed upon its use for opioid addiction treatment. We believe these unnecessary restrictions preclude the recruitment of a more robust prescriber base, inhibit widespread provider adoption, and propagate the stigma of treating this population of patients.

Buprenorphine is a beneficial, safe, and life-saving therapy that is necessary to help meet the exigency of the opioid crisis. We appreciate your efforts on this important issue. SHM stands ready to work with you on its passage.

Sincerely,

Chris Frost, MD, SFHM
President
Society of Hospital Medicine