The Trump administration’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis has issued a final report that recommends more than 50 ways the federal government can enhance prevention of and treatment for opioid addiction and substance use disorders.

Recommendations in the Nov. 1 report include:

  • granting waivers for all states to eliminate the Medicaid institutions for mental disease exclusion;
  • better aligning patient privacy laws;
  • developing a national curriculum and standard of care for opioid prescribers;
  • enhancing data collection on prescribing patterns; and
  • issuing opioid-related federal funds through block grants to allow for state flexibility.

President Trump in April issued an executive order establishing the commission to study the effectiveness of the federal response to the opioid crisis and recommend improvements. The commission issued an interim report in August. The president has since declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency.

The government accountability office (GAO) in October issued an unrelated report recommending that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) assess the effectiveness of its efforts to expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for substance use disorders. The GAO urged HHS to develop performance measures and timeframes to evaluate its goal of expanding MAT availability.

Contact Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.