Student loan repayment program gives incentive for medical providers to offer opioid use disorder treatment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 3, 2019                                                         

CONTACT: Bob Wheaton, 517-241-2112

LANSING, Mich. – Medical providers who begin providing or expand opioid addiction treatment are now eligible for student loan repayment through a new Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) program.

The goal of the program is to increase availability of opioid use disorder treatment across the state, especially in areas where treatment is difficult to access.

MDHHS received a $500,000 grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to implement the Michigan Opioid Treatment Access Loan Repayment Program to repay medical education loans.

“Michigan needs more health care providers that will treat patients suffering from opioid use disorders,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “This program provides critical educational debt repayments to incentivize providers to treat patients with substance use disorders in communities across the state. This will help strengthen our capacity to respond to this growing epidemic.”

The program is available to medical doctors and osteopathic medicine doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and substance use disorder counselors who begin offering opioid treatment or expand treatment that is already being offered. Providers who work in a variety of health care settings are eligible to apply.

Applications can be filed through June 30, 2019. Applications and other resources can be found on the Michigan Opioid Treatment Assistance website. Health care providers are encouraged to review the materials and submit applications when the cycle begins. They can contact Megan Linton at 517-335-6713 for more information

Michigan has been significantly affected by the national opioid epidemic. The number of annual opioid-related overdose deaths in the state has more than tripled since 2011, from 622 to 2,053. As part of the state-government-wide plan to address the issue, MDHHS has developed an action plan that is focused on prevention, early intervention and treatment.

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