Health Oversight Committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have held a series of hearings over the past two months to discuss and receive input on a legislative package to address the opioid crisis. Over 30 individual bills have been introduced that aim to address the crisis primarily though Medicare and Medicaid coverage and payment policies. S. 2669, the Opioid Response Crisis Act, is pending before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and is scheduled to be marked-up on April 24, 2018. In addition to Medicare and Medicaid changes, the Senate bill would provide grants for entities to establish opioid recovery centers, to help with workforce shortages, to review the impact of laws that regulate the length and quantity of opioid prescriptions, and to advance educational information on the crisis to providers.
With strong support among Republicans and Democrats for advancing opioid prevention legislation prior to the mid-terms, the goal is to try to advance legislation in the Senate and House prior to the Memorial Day recess beginning on May 24. This legislation is in addition to the $465 billion that was provided as part of last month’s FY 2018 Omnibus budget deal.
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