FORE Awards New Grants To Catalyze Federal Response to the Opioid Crisis

Bipartisan Policy Center and Legal Action Center Receive Funding to Turn Policy Into Action

New York, May 31, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE) today announced two new grants that will help develop viable strategies to address recent federal policies and laws governing the nation’s response to the continuing opioid crisis. FORE’s support includes:

  • A $200,000 grant to the Bipartisan Policy Center to assess federal levers and educate policymakers on how to optimize the federal response to the opioid crisis. The Bipartisan Policy Center is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that combines the best ideas from both parties to promote health, security, and opportunity for all Americans.

  • A $380,000 grant to the Legal Action Center, based in New York City, to maximize the opportunity presented by California’s approved 1115 Medicaid reentry demonstration waiver to improve access to treatment for people with opioid use disorder and/or substance use disorder leaving incarceration. The Legal Action Center uses legal and policy strategies to fight discrimination, build health equity, and restore opportunity for people with arrest and conviction records, substance use disorders, and HIV or AIDS.

Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC)
In 2021, a FORE grant helped BPC launch the national Opioid Crisis Task Force to develop evidence-based recommendations for how Federal policy can reduce overdose death rates — which accelerated during the pandemic — and strengthen the federal response to the crisis over the long term.

At the end of 2022, the 2023 budget Omnibus was passed with several opioid crisis-related provisions. With the upcoming expected reauthorization of the Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act in late 2023, BPC is taking the opportunity to analyze current policies and spending, as well as draw on recommendations from the Task Force work to educate policymakers on what needs to be done next to improve the effectiveness of funding for prevention, treatment, and recovery of substance use disorders.

“This important BPC work supports FORE’s Policy Initiatives priority area,” said Karen A. Scott, MD, MPH, president of FORE. “Coinciding with rising overdose rates and the need for increased public attention to the opioid crisis since the COVID-19 pandemic, the project is expected to bring to light polices that truly address the crisis, including on issues related to treatment access, racial and ethnic treatment disparities, and polysubstance use.”

In addition to conducting policy analysis and developing educational materials to inform and interact with policymakers in Congress and the Federal administration, BPC will convene two high-level briefings with FORE to educate policymakers as well as hold a public webinar to highlight findings of the project.

Legal Action Center (LAC)
The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently granted California’s 1115 Medicaid Reentry demonstration waiver application to fund a set of health care services for people leaving prisons and jails with federal Medicaid dollars. Many more states are expected to follow.

The need for access to opioid use disorder treatment in the criminal justice system has never been greater. The new LAC project, building on their first FORE grant awarded in 2021, will help stakeholders across the country understand CMS’ new Medicaid Reentry opportunities, help policymakers in Medicaid expansion states submit waiver applications and prepare for their effective implementation, and help stakeholders in non-expansion states create reforms that improve opioid use disorder and substance use disorder care access for people in and exiting the criminal legal system.

“As one of the most significant efforts in decades to disrupt costly cycles of opioid use disorders and incarceration, CMS’ approval of Medicaid reentry waivers presents a significant and timely opportunity to increase treatment engagement and therefore decrease overdoses and deaths among a highly vulnerable population,” said Dr. Scott.

Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE)
FORE was founded in 2018 as a private 501(c)(3) national, grant-making foundation focused on addressing the nation’s opioid crisis. FORE is committed to funding a diversity of projects contributing solutions to the crisis at national, state, and community levels. FORE’s mission is to support partners advancing patient-centered, innovative, evidence-based solutions impacting people experiencing opioid use disorder, their families, and their communities. Through convening, grantmaking and developing informational resources, FORE seeks to bring about long-term change. To date, FORE has awarded 91 grants totaling $36.7million.


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