Trends Show Uptake of SUD Treatment Has Room for Improvement

On this episode of Managed Care Cast, we speak with one of the authors of a paper published this month in Health Affairs about the utilization of substance use disorder treatment (SUD) services between 2010 and 2019, and why more needs to be done to get more individuals into treatment.

Drug overdose deaths are skyrocketing, with more than 100,000 people dying in 2021, according to the CDC. Obtaining treatment for substance use disorders (SUDs) has never been easy, and this month in Health Affairs, a paper examined trends in the use of treatment services to see what, if anything, changed from 2010 to 2019.

Despite an increase in insurance coverage over much of that time period and other policy changes, the results were disappointing, according to one of the authors interviewed about the findings on today’s Managed Care Cast. Brendan Saloner, PhD, is an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who specializes in health policy, particularly policies that affect vulnerable populations, including those with SUDs and behavioral or mental health issues.

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