GNYHA Supports Bill to Train More Docs for Opioid Crisis

May 30, 2018

The Greater New York Hospital Association is supporting the Opioid Workforce Act of 2018, a bipartisan measure introduced in both houses of Congress last week. The legislation, which GNYHA helped lawmakers craft along with the Association of American Medical Colleges, would fund the training of more doctors to combat the nation's growing opioid epidemic.

The law would pay for 1,000 additional residency positions in hospitals that already have established or are in the process of establishing approved residency programs in addiction medicine, addiction psychiatry or pain management.

"As the opioid epidemic worsens, every American in need of substance-abuse treatment should have access to it," GNYHA wrote Tuesday in its newsletter.

While 21 million Americans needed substance-abuse treatment in 2016, less than 20% got help, and access to care is exacerbated by physician shortages, according to the newsletter. The primary sponsors of the bill are Reps. Joe Crowley (D-NY) and Ryan Costello (R-PA), and Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Dean Heller (R-NV).

A number of national and state organizations have also endorsed the Opioid Workforce Act, including the American Hospital Association, the Healthcare Association of New York State and the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.