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Congressman Murphy Introduces Legislation to Prevent Overdoses, Streamline Substance Use Treatment

August 01, 2017

On Friday, July 28, Congressmen Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced legislation to streamline substance use disorder treatment records.

The Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety (OPPS) Act (H.R. 3545) would reform 42 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 2 to:

  • Streamline HIPPA regulations and provide doctors with up-to-date information on a patients’ whole medical history, including addiction treatment
  • Help to prevent overdoses or potentially harmful drug interactions by helping doctors avoid unknowingly prescribing opioids to a patient recovering from substance use disorder
  • Strengthen privacy protections for recovering patients, preventing the disclosure of patient records that could lead to prosecution or discrimination

The Partnership to Amend 42 CFR Part 2, which includes the American Hospital Association, hospitals, systems, and stakeholder organizations, expressed its support for this legislation through a joint letter to Congressmen Murphy and Blumenauer.

In the letter, the partnership asserts that, “Obtaining multiple consents from the patient is challenging and creates barriers to whole-person, integrated approaches to care, which are part of our current health care framework. Part 2 regulations may lead to a doctor treating a patient and writing prescriptions for opioid pain medication for that individual without knowing the person has a substance use disorder.”

During 2016, the U.S. House overwhelmingly passed an updated 21st Century Cures bill, which included comprehensive behavioral health reforms championed by Congressman Murphy.

HAP is carefully monitoring this legislation and working with state and federal lawmakers to find solutions to curb the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania and help doctors provide respectful, comprehensive care for patients suffering with or recovering from substance use disorders.

For more information about this legislation, contact Laura Stevens Kent, vice president, federal legislative advocacy.

For more information about opioid use and behavioral health, contact Michael Consuelos, senior vice president, clinical integration; or Jennifer Jordan, vice president, regulatory advocacy. 


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