U.S. House Committee Approves Package to Respond to Opioid Crisis
May 09, 2018
Building on areas of agreement, the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee advanced 25 bills intended to help respond to the opioid epidemic.
The bipartisan bills approved by the Committee seek to:
- Increase public awareness and health care provider education about substance use disorder
- Promote the use of evidence-based interventions, and share best practices and resources
- Support the substance use disorder workforce through loan repayment and education
- Encourage enhanced sharing of information and collection of data
- Promote responsible prescribing practices through e-prescribing, electronic prior authorization, drug management programs, and medical innovations
Two bills of particular interest to the hospital community respond to the challenges of treating individuals with substance use disorders in hospital emergency departments.
The Committee has pledged to consider a second group of bills next week that are more controversial. Two of the issues include:
- Policy that would lift a restriction on payment for inpatient care in institutions of mental disease (IMDs)
- Efforts to allow greater sharing of a patient’s substance use disorder information in the medical record
The Committee did approve H.R. 5009, Jessie’s Law, which would require the development and dissemination of best practices regarding the display of substance use disorder history in records of patients that have consented to provide the information.
The Committee intends to advance the full package of bills before the end of the month, with the hope of action by the full U.S. House early this summer.
HAP continues to advocate for key priorities at the state and federal level including:
- Preventing new cases of opioid addiction by promoting safe prescribing, and implementing the state’s prescription drug monitoring program
- Treating people who are already addicted by expanding access to treatment and recovery
- Increasing access to life-saving overdose medications
- Focusing care for moms and infants impacted by opioid abuse
- Reducing the supply of opioids in our communities
For more information about HAP’s federal legislative advocacy, please contact Laura Stevens Kent, vice president, federal legislative advocacy.