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On the Hill: House Passes Opioid Package

Months of work in the House culminated last week with passage of a package containing more than 50 bills to combat the opioid crisis.

The Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act, H.R. 6, combined dozens of bills that received bipartisan support, along with additional opioid-related bills that cleared the committee process but had yet to make it to the House floor.

H.R. 6 includes a bill the association has tracked closely: the controversial IMD CARE Act, H.R. 5797, which repeals the Medicaid Institutions for Mental Disease (IMD) exclusion for individuals with opioid use disorders. Separately, the House passed another bill of interest to essential hospitals: the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act, H.R. 6082, which amends 42 CFR Part 2 confidentiality protections pertaining to substance use disorder patient records.

The package now heads to the Senate, but it is unclear whether senators are likely to pass the legislation or consider their own version.

Committee Activity

Meanwhile, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Tuesday will testify before the Senate Finance Committee at a hearing on prescription drug costs.

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions will hold a June 27 hearing on reducing health care costs.

The Senate Committee on Appropriations will hold a June 26 markup of appropriations for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, as well as related agencies, for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2019.

 

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About the Author

Erin Delaney is the legislative affairs associate at America's Essential Hospitals.