The Senate is expected to vote next week on the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, a substitute amendment to the House-passed opioid package (H.R. 6).
 
The substitute amendment comprises bills reported earlier this year by the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee and Senate Finance and Judiciary committees. Among other provisions, the Senate package would reauthorize funding to states to address opioid abuse; provide support through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to improve the interoperability of state prescription drug monitoring programs; and authorize grants to create comprehensive opioid recovery centers, implement state safe care plans for substance-exposed infants, and make certain health professionals providing substance use disorder treatment services eligible for federal loan repayment programs. The legislation also would authorize $24 million in Department of Health and Human Services grants to medical schools and teaching hospitals over the next six years to support medication-assisted treatment training; codify the increase in the number of MAT patients that qualified practitioners can treat to 275; and authorize $25 million in HHS grants to hospitals and other acute care settings to develop and implement alternative strategies to opioids for pain management.
 
If approved without amendment, the Senate package would have to be reconciled with the House-passed opioid package, which includes an AHA-supported provision that would allow states to receive federal Medicaid matching funds for up to 30 days per year for services provided to adults aged 21-64 for opioid and cocaine use disorder in an Institution for Mental Disease. The House also separately approved an AHA-supported bill that 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.

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