Tag Archives: opioids

Congressional Health Policy Hearings

Recent Congressional hearings focusing on health policy issues include the following: House Energy and Commerce Committee hearings on how covered entities use the 340B drug pricing program, ways to address the opioid crisis, FDA’s Expanded Access Program, and HHS’s public health preparedness for and response to the 2017 hurricane season. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and … Continue Reading

Drug Pricing, Drug Costs, and the Opioid Crisis are the Focus of Upcoming Congressional Hearings

The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health has scheduled an October 11, 2017 hearing to discuss how covered entities use the 340B drug pricing program. A second Subcommittee hearing on October 11 will consider proposals from House members on ways to address the opioid crisis. On October 17, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions … Continue Reading

Roundup of Recent Congressional Health Policy Hearings

Several recent Congressional hearings have focused on health policy issues. For instance, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held hearings on Food and Drug Administration regulation of over-the-counter drugs and Public Health Service Act health workforce programs. The Senate Finance Committee held hearings on the Graham-Cassidy health insurance reform bill, CHIP funding reauthorization, and health … Continue Reading

House Committees Examine Health Care Policy Issues

Recent House of Representatives committee hearings have focused on a variety of health care policy issues, including the following: Energy and Commerce Committee hearings on: the growth and oversight of the 340B drug discount program; drug and device company communications, including clinical/economic data; state efforts to address the opioid crisis; and extension of safety net … Continue Reading

Major Mental Illness, Substance Use Disorder Reforms, Opioid Abuse Treatment Funding Included in 21st Century Cures Act

Advocates have been pushing hard over the past couple of years for the reform and expansion of mental illness and substance use disorder (i.e., behavioral health) treatment in the U.S. The 21st Century Cures Act — which has cleared Congress and is awaiting the President’s signature — includes a number of important provisions that reflect … Continue Reading

SAMHSA Final Rule on Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders Reporting Requirements

On September 27, 2016, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published a final rule establishing annual reporting requirements for certain practitioners who prescribe buprenorphine-based medication-assisted treatment for opioid disorders under the Controlled Substances Act. As previously reported, SAMHSA published a rule on July 8, 2016 that expanded from 100 to 275 the … Continue Reading

With Short-Term Government Funding Bill in Place, Congress Adjourns until after Elections

On September 29, 2016, President Obama signed into law HR 5325, which averts a government shutdown by continuing funding for the federal government through December 9, 2016.  The legislation also includes $1.1 billion in supplemental funding to combat the Zika virus (including vaccine and diagnostic test development, public health, and other functions), along with $37 … Continue Reading

Congressional Hearings Focus on Health Policy Issues

A number of recent Congressional hearings have focused on health policy issues, including:  Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearings on laboratory testing in the era of precision medicine, and the safety of cosmetics. A House Judiciary Committee hearing on “Treating the Opioid Epidemic: The State of Competition in the Markets for Addiction Medicine.” … Continue Reading

Obama Administration, Congress Take Steps to Fight Opioid Epidemic

HHS has announced a series of actions to address the nation’s opioid epidemic, as Congress has cleared the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act for the President’s signature. As part of the HHS activities, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has published a final rule to expand from 100 to 275 the number … Continue Reading

President Obama Signs Zika Priority Review, Controlled Substances Laws

President Obama has signed into law S. 2512, which adds  Zika virus to the Food and Drug Administration priority review voucher program to encourage the development of treatments for neglected tropical diseases. In addition, the President has signed S. 483, the “Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016.  This law amends the Controlled Substances … Continue Reading

CMS Issues Final 2017 Medicare Advantage Capitation Rates and Medicare Advantage/Part D Payment Policies

CMS has issued its final 2017 Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D Rate Announcement and Call Letter, which includes a series of policy and payment changes related to these programs. CMS estimates that the final policies will increase MA rates by an average of 0.85%, down from the expected 1.35% increase in the advance notice … Continue Reading

HHS Proposes Doubling the Buprenorphine Patient Cap to Expand Access to Opioid Dependence Treatment

HHS has proposed increasing from 100 to 200 the patient limit for qualified practitioners who prescribe buprenorphine-based medication-assisted treatment under the Controlled Substances Act to expand access to treatment for opioid use disorders.  Buprenorphine is an opioid medication used to treat opioid addiction that can be dispensed for take-home use, by prescription. The proposed rule … Continue Reading

Senate Approves Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act

The Senate has overwhelmingly approved S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which includes a number of provisions to prevent drug abuse, treat addiction, and reduce overdose deaths. Major provisions include: additional prevention and education efforts to prevent opioid and heroin abuse; expanded law enforcement and first responder access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone; … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Rate, Policy Updates for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans

CMS has issued its draft 2017 Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D Advance Notice and Draft Call Letter, which includes a variety of proposed policy changes and rate updates related to these programs. CMS estimates that the draft policies would increase MA rates by an average of 1.35% (considering coding trends the agency expects revenues … Continue Reading

Congressional Health Policy Hearings

Several Congressional committees have held hearings recently on health policy issues, including: A House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing on the Medicaid and CHIP Federal Medical Assistance Percentage formula. House Ways and Means Committee, Senate Finance Committee, and Energy and Commerce Committee hearings on President Obama’s proposed FY 2017 HHS budget request. A Senate … Continue Reading

Controlled Substances Treatment/Regulation Bills Clear Senate Judiciary Committee

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved two bipartisan bills on February 11, 2016 that are intended to address abuse of opioid and other controlled substances and clarify the regulation of controlled substances. First, S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015, includes a wide range of prevention, education, law enforcement, treatment, and recovery provisions, … Continue Reading
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