This week Reps. Ron Estes (R-Kansas) and Jimmy Panetta (D-California) introduced H.R. 8908 -- the Fighting Stimulant and Other Substance Use Disorders Act -- as part of a larger mental health package in the House Ways and Means Committee.
"In Kansas and throughout the country, mental health continues to ravage families and communities, and it's tragically getting worse," said Rep. Estes during today's Ways and Means Committee legislative markup. "Doctors and nurses are doing everything they can to help struggling patients, but they also need common sense policies from Washington that will help the crisis -- not make it worse. Our common sense legislation tasks Health and Human Services to review evidence-based contingency management incentives so that we can remove a barrier that's shutting out patients from an effective treatment while also ensuring safeguards against fraud and abuse."
"Many in our communities face addiction and mental health challenges. Unfortunately, the current substance abuse and mental health treatments are inadequate for millions of patients and their families across our country," said Rep. Panetta. "The Fighting Stimulant and Other Substance Use Disorders Act addresses this shortcoming by allowing the Department of Health and Human Services to consider contingency management intervention, which is a proven tool to incentivize drug and mental health treatment by rewarding patients for recovery milestones. This science-based bill will provide communities like mine on the central coast of California with the tools and resources that they need to overcome addiction so that they can lead fuller and more productive lives."
Earlier this year, Rep. Estes questioned a witness during a Ways and Means hearing on mental health where she expressed her support for contingency management therapy as an effective treatment for individuals suffering from stimulant and other substance use disorders. Federal law prohibits federal funds from being used for contingency management treatment, leaving Medicare and Medicaid participants without access to this care. The Fighting Stimulant and Other Substance Use Disorders Act directs the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General to review contingency management therapy.