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S. 987: CARA 3.0 Act of 2021

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 25, 2021.

CARA 3.0 Act of 2021

This bill addresses substance use disorders by expanding access to treatment and recovery services, providing for housing protections, and requiring other activities.

Specifically, the bill reauthorizes, establishes, and expands support for treatment and recovery services. This includes increasing access to treatment in the criminal justice system and other settings and for particular populations, such as pregnant and postpartum individuals and youth and young adults.

Additionally, the bill expands Medicare and Medicaid coverage for treatment, including by expanding telehealth access to medication to treat substance use disorders. The bill also temporarily requires that non-opioid pain treatment options be reimbursed separately, instead of on a packaged basis, under Medicare.

As a condition of receiving certain federal funding, states must mandate the use of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) by prescribers and dispensers and impose additional PDMP requirements. Moreover, prescribers of potentially addictive drugs must complete continuing education requirements. The bill also revises the registration process for providers who prescribe certain medications to treat substance use disorders, including by eliminating the provider's patient limit for such medications.

In addition, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration must carry out activities to promote access to high-quality recovery housing. The bill also sets out protections for individuals with substance use disorders who live in, or apply to live in, federally assisted housing.

Furthermore, the bill requires other activities to address substance use, such as support for workforce education and training; public awareness campaigns and similar outreach; and research on prevention strategies, insurance coverage, and treatment modalities.