Press Release

Statement on the Trump Administration's Opioid Announcement

Contact:         Marie Johnson, (202) 626-2351

                        Colin Milligan, (202) 638-5491 



Rick Pollack

President and CEO

American Hospital Association


October 26, 2017

America’s hospitals and health systems are on the front lines in the battle against the opioid epidemic, seeing firsthand the loss and devastation this scourge has caused patients, families, and entire communities. To help curb the epidemic, our members are taking a wide range of proactive steps such as addressing prescribing practices, reducing the fear of stigma to encourage treatment, and supporting alternative pain-management strategies. We're partnering with state and local health departments, law enforcement, pharmacies, treatment and prevention programs, educational institutions, and other community stakeholders because we know this battle won’t be won unless we come together. And, building on our previous efforts, the AHA this week released a new toolkit to provide more guidance and resources on how to best work with patients, clinicians, and communities to stem the opioid epidemic.

We welcome today’s announcement of a public health emergency and the Administration’s efforts to enhance access to treatment. This declaration appropriately highlights the urgent need to act so that fewer of our fellow citizens are suffering. We urge the Administration and Congress to take needed steps, such as eliminating the barriers to treatment created by the Medicaid Institutions for Mental Disease (IMD) exclusion, knocking down impediments to the appropriate sharing of patient substance use records, and ensuring that patients have comprehensive coverage that facilitates access to the services they need. We also urge full funding and implementation of legislation previously enacted to help end the epidemic.

We stand ready to continue to work with the Administration, the Congress, and others in the health field in this important fight.

About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at

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