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Senate Passes Opioid Package, Final Vote Expected Soon

The U.S. Senate this week passed the Opioid Crisis Response Act, legislation that would reauthorize state funding to address opioid abuse, authorize a range of new grants aimed at addressing the nation’s opioid crisis, and support expansion of medication-assisted treatment as well as the development of alternate pain management strategies, among other provisions.

The Senate bill does not include certain HANYS-supported provisions contained in the House-passed opioid package (H.R. 6), namely the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act (H.R. 6082), which would align 42 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 2 with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA); the Individuals in Medicaid Deserve Care that is Appropriate and Responsible in its Execution Act (H.R. 5797), which would modify the institute of mental disease (IMD) exclusion to allow up to 30 days of Medicaid coverage for services provided to adult Medicaid beneficiaries with an opioid use disorder at an IMD; and the Addiction Treatment Access Improvement Act (H.R. 3692), which would permit more practitioners to prescribe or dispense buprenorphine for treatment of opioid use disorder.

The House and Senate bills must now be reconciled before a final vote in both chambers. House and Senate leaders have been “pre-conferencing” their packages, informally working out differences in hopes of reaching an agreement in short order. HANYS is working closely with the American Hospital Association and our state and regional advocacy partners to push for the inclusion of key HANYS-supported provisions referenced above in the final opioid package. Contact: Cristina Batt

Published September 21, 2018