The administration’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis this week issued an interim report encouraging the president to declare a national emergency to fight the opioid epidemic.

President Trump in April issued an executive order establishing the commission to study the effectiveness of the federal response to the opioid crisis and make recommendations for improvements. The order called for the commission to make initial recommendations within 90 days and final recommendations by Oct. 1.

In the report, the commission recommends several actions to improve prescribing practices and increase treatment availability, including:

  • granting waiver approvals for states to eliminate the Institutes for Mental Diseases (IMD) exclusion under the Medicaid program;
  • mandating provider education on prescribing practices as part of medical training;
  • creating a federal incentive to encourage the use of medication-assisted treatment;
  • using regulations to align privacy laws to ensure providers have access to the proper information; and
  • enforcing mental health parity laws.

The commission also urges the president to empower his cabinet and Congress to develop new strategies to fight the epidemic.

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