The House of Representatives has approved 20 more bills to address the opioid crisis, including five supported by the AHA.

Among the AHA-supported bills:

  • H.R. 5797, as amended, would allow states to receive federal matching funds for up to 30 days per year for services provided to adult Medicaid beneficiaries with an opioid use disorder in an Institution for Mental Disease, and expands treatment coverage to individuals suffering from cocaine use disorder; and
  • H.R. 6082 would align 42 CFR Part 2 regulations with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act to allow health care providers to responsibly share substance use disorder treatment information.   

“The House of Representatives today passed two significant, AHA-supported bills that would help hospitals and health systems provide improved care to patients with substance use disorders,” AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels said in a statement. “America’s hospitals and health systems remain on the frontlines of the fight against the opioid crisis and continue to provide the safest and highest quality care for patients. We look forward to consideration of these bipartisan bills in the Senate, and we urge all members of the Senate to support them.”  
The other AHA-supported bills would:

  • Require state Children’s Health Insurance Programs to cover mental health benefits (H.R. 3192);
  • Require the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to establish an action plan to address the opioid crisis (H.R. 5590); and
  • Require CMS to award grants to curb outlier opioid prescribers under the Medicare prescription drug benefit and Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans (H.R. 5796).

Other approved bills that incorporate AHA-supported provisions of interest to hospitals and health systems include:
H.R. 5774, which would require CMS to publish guidance for hospitals on pain management and opioid use disorder prevention strategies for Medicare beneficiaries, and convene a technical expert panel to recommend hospital quality measures relating to opioids and opioid use disorders; and H.R. 5775, which would prohibit including pain management questions in the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey unless the questions address the risks of opioid use and the availability of non-opioid alternatives.
The House also is expected to vote later this week on H.R. 6, legislation that will serve as the Senate vehicle for many of the House bills and includes a number of AHA-supported provisions.
In a statement last night, the White House expressed support for H.R. 5797, H.R. 6082 and H.R. 6.

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