Medicare provides insufficient access to opioid addiction treatment, report finds

Medicare is vastly underserving older Americans with opioid use disorder, with only 18% of enrollees with the diagnosis receiving recommended medication treatment, according to a new federal oversight report.

The report, from the U.S. health department’s Office of Inspector General, also found that more than 50,000 Part D beneficiaries overdosed on opioids in 2021, whether painkillers or illicit drugs. That figure is an undercount, the report says, because it only tallied overdoses for which medical care was billed to Medicare. The count, for example, doesn’t include people who died from overdoses if there was no medical care provided.

Read the rest…