The Reforming and Expanding Access to Treatment (TREAT) Act (HR 2511, 116th Congress) would enable states to use Medicaid payments for substance abuse services for inmates in public institutions by amending the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396d). Specifically, the Act would allow for “qualified inpatient substance use disorder services” which is defined as “medication or behavioral treatment administered in furtherance of eliminating, mitigating, treating, or curing an individual’s use or abuse of drugs or an individual’s substance abuse disorder.” The Act further prohibits the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration from developing memoranda or policies that would preclude these services from being offered to individuals who are incarcerated.
The First Step Act (Public Law 115-391; SciPol Full Brief), which was signed into law in December 2018, in part commissioned a report to better understand and plan for evidence-based substance abuse treatment in federal prisons. The TREAT Act follows in this vein with the intention of expanding access to substance abuse services for individuals who are incarcerated.