The Senate Finance Committee today held a hearing on “tackling opioid and substance use disorders in Medicare, Medicaid and human services programs.” Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said he has already identified several areas of potential bipartisan support, including “the need to evaluate access to and utilization of non-opioid treatment options for managing pain; enhancing data-sharing to promote appropriate health care interventions and strengthen program integrity; and ensuring evidence-based care is available for patients to identify and treat opioid use disorders.” Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) called Medicaid “a key part of any solution.” He also criticized opioid drug makers and distributors for contributing to the crisis, and said “they need to be brought before this committee and held accountable.” Testifying at the hearing were Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir, M.D., senior advisor to the HHS secretary on mental health and opioid policy, and Kimberly Brandt, principal deputy administrator for operations at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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