October 25, 2018

Sen. Sherrod Brown joins addiction treatment professionals, patients at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown joined addiction treatment professionals and patients at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center recently to discuss the passage of a bipartisan bill to help more Ohioans access treatment for substance use disorders.

"More capacity for treatment will create higher quality service, raise the standard of care and change the game completely," said Dr. Ted Parran, co-medical director, Rosary Hall. "It will also allow providers across the addiction treatment continuum of care to create a more seamless patient journey."

Senator Brown worked with Ohio Senator Rob Portman to secure a provision in Congress’ latest opioid package that will make more treatment beds available to Ohioans struggling with addiction and substance use disorders. The bill was passed by both the House and Senate and was signed into law by President Trump on October 24.

"There isn't a community in Ohio that hasn't been touched by the addiction crisis," said Brown. "We are doing all we can to fight it, but we have to make it just as easy for Ohioans to seek treatment as it is to get opioids. Lifting this outdated cap on the number of people facilities can treat will allow more Ohioans to access the potentially life-saving help they need."

Brown's bill with Senator Portman lifted the Institutions for Mental Disease (IMD) exclusion in order to expand Americans' access to treatment for opioid addiction. The IMD exclusion is a decades-old policy that prohibits states from using federal Medicaid dollars to pay for treatment at residential mental health or substance abuse facilities with more than 16 beds. This policy limits access to treatment, hampers behavioral health parity, and prevents many Americans from getting the help they need.

The Senators' bipartisan bill would lift this outdated cap for five years, covering all substance-use disorders, so more Americans can access treatment services at these inpatient facilities.

St. Vincent Charity Medical Center is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

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