House Passes Comprehensive Opioid Legislation
Opioid Package Addresses Treatment, Prevention, Finding Alternatives to Opioids for Pain Management, and Equipping Law Enforcement
The House of Representatives passed H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, a comprehensive piece of legislation aimed at combatting the opioid epidemic that is ravaging America. Over the past two-weeks, the House passed more than 50 bills addressing different parts of the opioid crisis, including two bills offered by Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E., (WV-1). H.R. 6 pulls all the bills together into one piece of legislation, which now heads to the Senate for consideration. Once the Senate passes their version, a Conference Committee will work out any differences.The House of Representatives passed H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, a comprehensive piece of legislation aimed at combatting the opioid epidemic that is ravaging America. Over the past two-weeks, the House passed more than 50 bills addressing different parts of the opioid crisis, including two bills offered by Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E., (WV-1). H.R. 6 pulls all the bills together into one piece of legislation, which now heads to the Senate for consideration. Once the Senate passes their version, a Conference Committee will work out any differences.
“Over the past two weeks, America has witnessed something impressive. Both parties came together to take action on one of the more challenging issues of our time: the opioid epidemic. This bill authorizes critical funding for the National Institutes of Health to develop alternatives to opioids for pain management, increases our treatment and prevention programs, and equips our law enforcement to stop dangerous drugs, like Fentanyl, from coming into America,” said McKinley.
“This bill will make a difference in the lives of millions of families across the country. Congress is building on the work it started when it passed CARA and 21st Century Cures, but this isn’t the end. It’s vital to continue working together to end the scourge of the opioid epidemic,” McKinley added.
Click here to watch McKinley’s speech on the House floor, urging the passage of H.R. 6.
Over the past two weeks, the House of Representatives voted on comprehensive legislation aimed at combatting the opioid epidemic. Two bills offered by McKinley that passed were included in H.R. 6, and now head to the Senate for consideration. McKinley was also a cosponsor on eight other bills that were included in the legislative package.
The two bills offered by McKinley are:
• H.R. 5176, the Preventing Overdoses While in Emergency Rooms (POWER) Act. This bill was authored by Rep. McKinley and is cosponsored by Rep. Michael Doyle (D-PA). The bill will provide resources for hospitals to develop protocols on discharging patients who have presented with an opioid overdose. These protocols would address the provision of naloxone upon discharge, connection with peer-support specialists, and the referral to treatment and other services that best fit the patient’s needs.
• H.R. 5197, the Alternatives to Opioids (ALTO) in the Emergency Department Act. This bill was authored by McKinley and Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ). The bill will establish a demonstration program to test alternative pain management protocols to limit to use of opioids in hospital emergency departments, and reduce the over-prescribing of opioids.
The eight bills cosponsored by McKinley are:
• H.R. 5009, Jessie’s Law. This bill was authored by Reps. Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI). This bill will ensure medical professionals have access to a consenting patient’s complete health history when making treatment decisions by requiring the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop and disseminate best practices regarding the prominent display of substance use disorder (SUD) history in patient records of patients who have previously provided this information to a health care provider.
o McKinley Amdt to H.R. 5009, Jessie’s Law. McKinley offered an amendment to this legislation, which was included in the final version.This amendment directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to annually develop and disseminate materials to health care providers with a clear explanation of the permitted disclosures under HIPAA and other federal privacy laws in emergency situations, including overdoses.
• H.R. 4284, Indexing Narcotics, Fentanyl, and Opioids (INFO) Act of 2017. This b ill was authored by Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH). This bill will direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create a public and easily accessible electronic dashboard linking to all of the nationwide efforts and strategies to combat the opioid crisis.
• H.R. 5723, The Expanding Oversight of Opioid Prescribing and Payment Act of 2018. This bill was authored by Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY). This bill requires the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission to report to Congress on: (1) how Medicare pays for opioid and non-opioid pain management treatments in inpatient and outpatient hospital settings; (2) current incentives for prescribing opioid and non-opioid treatments under Medicare inpatient and outpatient prospective payment systems, along with recommendations to address any identified adverse incentives; and (3) how opioid use is currently tracked and monitored through Medicare and any areas for improvement.
• H.R. 2851, the Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues (SITSA) Act of 2017. This bill was authored by Rep. John Katko (R-NY). This bill will update the Controlled Substances Act, providing quicker action to stop the illegal importation and distribution of deadly synthetic drugs and give the Attorney General greater authority to quickly and temporarily schedule a new drug when it is virtually identical to a currently scheduled drug. This process will decrease from three years to a matter of months.
• H.R. 449, Synthetic Drug Awareness Act of 2017. This bill was authored by Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Chris Collins (R-NY). This bill will require the U.S. Surgeon General to submit a comprehensive report to Congress on the public health effects of the rise in synthetic drug use among youth aged 12 to 18 in order to further educate parents and the medical community on the health effects of synthetics.
• H.R. 5002, ACE Research Act. This bill was authored by Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI). This bill will provide the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with new, flexible authorities to conduct innovative research and spur urgently needed research on new non-addictive pain medications.
• H.R. 5102, Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act of 2018. This bill was authored by Reps. Katherine Clark (DMA) and Hal Rogers (R-KY). This bill will create a loan repayment program for substance use disorder (SUD) treatment providers. Specifically, the bill will offer student loan repayment of up to $250,000 for participants who agree to work as a SUD treatment professional in areas most in need of their services. The program will be available to a wide range of direct care providers, including physicians, registered nurses, social workers, and other behavioral health professionals.
• H.R. 5473, the Better Pain Management Through Better Data Act of 2018. This bill was authored by Reps. Barbara Comstock (RVA) and Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM). This bill will direct the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to articulate clear data collection methods that could be used to inform opioid-sparing labeling claims for products that may replace, delay, or reduce or the use of opioid analgesics.