OIG Releases Report on Opioid Use Disorders in Medicare Part D Beneficiaries


Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a new report on opioid-related drug poisonings and deaths in Medicare beneficiaries. The report found that in 2021, over 50,000 Medicare Part D beneficiaries experienced an overdose from prescription opioids, illicit opioids, or both. The report also found that of the 1.1 million Part D beneficiaries diagnosed with an opioid use disorder (OUD), less than onefifth of patients were receiving treatment.  

Thus, the OIG called on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to take the following actions:  

  • Improve beneficiaries’ access to drug poisoning treatments, OUD treatments, and naloxone; 
  • Expedite efforts to implement a new Behavior Health Strategy, which strives to increase access to behavioral health care and substance use disorders prevention, treatment, and recovery;
  • Improve outreach to beneficiaries regarding Medicare coverage of OUD treatments;
  • Increase the number of providers and opioid treatment programs available to Medicare beneficiaries with OUD; and
  • Increase access to telehealth services.  

For more information, read the full report here. 


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