The House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved bipartisan legislation, HR 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, intended to bolster opioid prevention and treatment programs and strengthen law enforcement efforts.  Among many other things, the wide-ranging legislation would:

  • Encourage non-addictive opioid alternatives to treat pain through a variety of Medicare and Medicaid reforms and through an examination of related FDA policies.
  • Modify Medicare Part D drug policies with regard to e-prescribing for controlled substances and drug management programs for at-risk beneficiaries.
  • Provide Medicare coverage of opioid use disorder treatment services furnished by an opioid treatment program.
  • Require CMS to develop guidance for hospitals on pain management and opioid use disorder prevention and to review Medicare quality measures related to opioids and opioid use disorders.
  • Require state Medicaid drug management programs for at-risk beneficiaries and expand Medicaid drug review and utilization requirements to address opioid safety.
  • Establish a demonstration project to provide an enhanced federal matching rate for state Medicaid expenditures to increase provider capacity related to substance use disorder treatment or recovery services.
  • Provide $10 million annually in FYs 2019-2023 for grants to establish Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has posted detailed summaries and background information related to HR 6 on its website.  The legislation now moves to the Senate.