The AHA today urged the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to incorporate into its bipartisan legislation to address the opioid crisis the Alternatives to Opioids in the Emergency Department Act (S. 2516). Introduced by Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Cory Gardner (R-CO), S. 2516 would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct a demonstration program to test alternative pain management protocols to limit opioid use in the ED, informed by successful programs in states like New Jersey and Colorado. “The success of these programs alone shows great promise for S. 2516 to not only help in combating the opioid crisis, but also in studying alternatives to opioids that offer meaningful pain relief to patients,” said AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels in a letter to committee leaders. Reps. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and David McKinley (R-WV) have introduced a companion bill (H.R. 5197) in the House.

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Often quietly and out of the public eye, the vital work of advancing health in America happens on many fronts.