AHA Statement on Opioid Related Legislation

Tom Nickels
Executive Vice President
American Hospital Association

May 9, 2018

America’s hospitals and health systems have been engaged in treating people with substance use disorders for decades. In recent years, we have seen first-hand the devastating effects of the opioid epidemic on patients, families, and communities across the country. We applaud the leadership of Chairman Walden, Ranking Member Pallone and the Energy and Commerce Committee in advancing several measures that will help hospitals continue to fight the epidemic.  

Hospitals play a distinct role in this fight by educating patients, reducing inappropriate prescribing of opioids, providing alternative pain treatments, offering medication assisted treatment, and supporting the communities we serve.

We strongly support several measures forwarded today by the Energy and Commerce Committee to the full House of Representatives, including bills to: improve information provided to Medicare patients about the risks of opioid use; standardize electronic prior authorization for Medicare Part D prescribing; and fund programs to help hospitals provide alternatives to opioids in emergency departments and facilitate medication assisted treatment to patients who have overdosed.

We will continue to work with Congress to ensure we have the tools needed to respond to this multi-faceted epidemic that is impacting virtually every community in our country, and we look forward to additional legislative action on these and other initiatives.

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