The House of Representatives today voted 396-14 to approve bipartisan legislation (H.R. 6) that will serve as a Senate vehicle for many of the House-passed bills to combat the opioid crisis and includes a number of AHA-supported provisions

“America’s hospitals and health systems applaud today’s House passage of several AHA-supported provisions contained in the bipartisan Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6),” said AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels. “We are pleased to see overwhelming support for provisions that would: expand the use of telehealth services for substance use disorder; guide improved care for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome; increase the types and capacity of providers offering medication-assisted treatment; cover screening for opioid use disorder as part of the Welcome to Medicare physical examination; allow former foster children to keep Medicaid coverage until age 26 when they move across state lines; and, require states to automatically restore Medicaid coverage to young people post-incarceration. We look forward to continuing to work with the Senate to enact these provisions and further refine other elements of opioid legislation moving through Congress.”    

Earlier this week, the House separately approved two key AHA-supported bills that would allow states to receive federal matching funds for up to 30 days per year for services provided to adult Medicaid beneficiaries for opioid and cocaine use disorder in an Institution for Mental Disease, and expand treatment coverage to individuals suffering from cocaine use disorder; and 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 White House has expressed support for all three bills. The Senate is expected to consider opioid legislation as early as mid-July.