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Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and Opioid Crisis Releases Report, Recommendations

November 02, 2017

Yesterday, the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis released its final report, including a set of recommendations for addressing the opioid crisis across a variety of federal, state, and local agencies.

This multiagency approach consists of:

  • Block grant funding for opioid-related and substance use disorder (SUD) activities
  • Patient, provider, and prescriber education
  • Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) enhancements
  • Supply reduction and enforcement
  • Creation of a drug court system
  • Treatment, overdose reversal, and recovery
  • Research and development

Recommendations that may affect future health care practices include:

  • Mandating prescriber education for relicensing
  • Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) amendments
  • Recommendation for CMS to remove pain survey questions entirely on patient satisfaction surveys
  • Expansion of medication-assisted treatments
  • Encourage Take Back Day and drug deactivation bags
  • Expanded use of recovery coaches
  • Telemedicine use to treat SUD

President Trump last week declared the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency under federal law, directing executive agencies to use every appropriate emergency authority to fight the opioid crisis.

With a rising opioid overdose death rate in Pennsylvania of 4,642 individuals in 2016, the commonwealth is working to curtail the public health crisis. Some of the state efforts include legislative and executive task forces, additional Centers of Excellence, a series of legislative initiatives, standing orders for naloxone at pharmacies, and medication prescription guidelines.

In addition to these state efforts, HAP and Pennsylvania hospitals are working to address the crisis through a number of strategies, including collaborating with the South Central PA Opioid Awareness Coalition, a partnership of several regional hospitals, and OverdoseFreePA.

For additional information on the recommendations in the final report or how your region can form a health care led coalition to address the opioid crisis, please contact Robert Shipp, HAP’s vice president, population health strategies.   

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