House Committee Sends 57 Opioid Bills to Congress

House Committee Sends 57 Opioid Bills to Congress

A total of 57 proposed bills targeting the opioid epidemic have advanced through the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and are on their way to the House of Representatives.
The range of the proposed legislation covers everything you can imagine that might make a difference, from easing patient confidentiality restrictions to help save lives, to significantly expanding access to treatment for addiction, to giving greater recall and seizure powers to the FDA to combat the dangerous illicit drugs like fentanyl entering the country, particularly via the U.S. Post Office.
The real story will be told in June, when the House of Representatives takes up the bills one by one. That's when the fate of each bill will be decided - what gets enacted into law, and what gets tossed back to the committee or just tossed, period.
Good news: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he's reserving time on the House Floor in June to consider all the new opioid legislation.

No silver bullet

Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) admits there's no quick fix.

"We know there is no silver bullet, no one-size-fits-all approach that will remedy the catastrophic effects of this crisis over the last decade," he said. "But collectively, we know that much can be done to help vulnerable patients in our communities get the treatment they want and need, and to ensure these powerful drugs are not getting into the wrong hands. Our communities are counting on us to deliver on solutions to help turn the tide of addiction and death that is ravaging town from coast to coast."

Meanwhile, Walden sounded positive that the proposed bills hold great promise.

"While this Congress has delivered unprecedented resources to combat this crisis, Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life still feel the grasp of this crisis and are asking us for help. And we will deliver," Walden said.
"We have a unique opportunity to save lives, and we can't lose sight of the real-world impact of our actions throughout this process. We owe it to the families of the more than 115 Americans who die from opioids every single day to come together and advance legislation that can help stem this tide," he added.

Wide range of approaches

To quickly get a good idea of the range of approaches the government wants to take to combat the opioid crisis, simply browse this list of the bills that were sent to the House:

H.R. 1925, At-Risk Youth Medicaid Protection Act of 2017
H.R. 3192, CHIP Mental Health Parity Act
H.R. 3331, To amend title XI of the Social Security Act to promote testing of incentive payments for behavioral health providers for adoption and use of certified electronic health record technology
H.R. 3528, Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act
H.R. 4005, Medicaid Reentry Act
H.R. 4275, Empowering Pharmacists in the Fight Against Opioid Abuse Act
H.R. 4284, INFO Act of 2017xx
H.R. 449, Synthetic Drug Awareness Act of 2017
H.R. 4684, Ensuring Access to Quality Sober Living Act of 2018
H.R. 4841, Standardizing Electronic Prior Authorization for Safe Prescribing Act
H.R. 4998, Health Insurance for Former Foster Youth Act
H.R. 5002, ACE Research Act
H.R. 5009, Jessie's Law [Patient's opioid use disorder must be made known to prevent medical errors]
H.R. 5041, Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act
H.R. 5102, Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act of 2018
H.R. 5176, Preventing Overdoses While in Emergency Rooms Act of 2018
H.R. 5197, Alternatives to Opioids (ALTO) in the Emergency Department Act
H.R. 5202, Ensuring Patient Access to Substance Use Disorder Treatments Act of 2018
H.R. 5228, Stop Counterfeit Drugs by Regulating and Enhancing Enforcement Now Act
H.R. 5261, TEACH to Combat Addiction Act of 2018
H.R. 5272, Reinforcing Evidence-Based Standards Under Law in Treating Substance Abuse Act of 2018
H.R. 5327, Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers Act 2018
H.R. 5329, Poison Center Network Enhancement Act of 2018
H.R. 5353, Eliminating Opioid-Related Infectious Diseases Act of 2018
H.R. 5473, Better Pain Management Through Better Data Act of 2018
H.R. 5477, Rural Development of Opioid Capacity Services Act
H.R. 5483, Special Registration for Telemedicine Clarification Act of 2018
H.R. 5580, STOP Fentanyl Deaths Act of 2018
H.R. 5582, Abuse Deterrent Access Act of 2018
H.R. 5583, Requiring Medicaid Programs to Report on All Core Behavioral Health Measures
H.R. 5587, Peer Support Communities of Recovery Act
H.R. 5590, Opioid Addiction Action Plan Act
H.R. 5603, Access to Telehealth Services for Opioid Use Disorder
H.R. 5605, Advancing High Quality Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders in Medicare Act
H.R. 5675, To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to require prescription drug plan sponsors under the Medicare program to establish drug management programs for at-risk beneficiaries
H.R. 5684, Protecting Seniors from Opioid Abuse Act
H.R. 5685, Medicare Opioid Safety Education Act
H.R. 5686, Medicare Clear Health Options in Care for Enrollees (CHOICE) Act
H.R. 5687, Securing Opioids and Unused Narcotics with Deliberate Disposal and Packaging Act of 2018
H.R. 5715, Strengthening Partnerships to Prevent Opioid Abuse Act
H.R. 5716, Commit to Opioid Medical Prescriber Accountability and Safety for Seniors (COMPASS) Act
H.R. 5752, the Stop Illicit Drug Importation Act of 2018
H.R. 5789, To amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to provide for Medicaid IMD coverage for pregnant and postpartum women
H.R. 5795, Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act
H.R. 5796, Responsible Education Achieves Care and Healthy Outcomes for Users' Treatment (REACH OUT) Act of 2018
H.R. 5797 IMD CARE Act
H.R. 5798, Opioid Screening and Chronic Pain Management Alternatives for Seniors Act
H.R. 5799, Medicaid DRUG Improvement Act
H.R. 5800, Medicaid IMD ADDITIONAL INFO Act
H.R. 5801, Medicaid PARTNERSHIP Act
H.R. 5804, Post-Surgical Injections as an Opioid Alternative Act
H.R. 5806, 21st Century Tools for Pain and Addiction Treatments Act
H.R. 5808, Medicaid Pharmaceutical Home Act
H.R. 5809, Postoperative Opioid Prevention Act of 2018
H.R. 5810, Medicaid Health HOME Act
H.R. 5811, to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to postapproval study requirements for certain controlled substances, and for other purposes
H.R. 5812, Creating Opportunities that Necessitate New and Enhanced Connections that Improve Opioid Navigating Strategies Act (CONNECTIONS) Act

You can read more about each of these proposed bills on the Energy and Commerce website.

Here at Novus Medical Detox Centers, we're deeply committed to helping people get their lives back free of drugs and alcohol. If you need help with a drug or alcohol problem, or you know someone who does, please don't hesitate. Call us right now.

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