Dr. Bucshon’s Opioid Screening Legislation Headed to President Trump’s Desk

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Washington, September 28, 2018 | comments

(Washington, D.C.) –
Congressman Larry Bucshon, M.D. (IN-08) released the following statement after the final text of the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6), negotiated and agreed upon in a bipartisan manner by both the Senate and the House, moves onto the Senate for a final vote before heading to President Trump’s desk next week to be signed into law:

The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act will help our struggling communities to combat the opioid crisis by focusing on improving care for those who have opioid use disorder, and preventing opioid misuse and addiction. This comprehensive legislation, negotiated and agreed upon by both chambers in a bipartisan manner, will help states like Indiana combat the growing opioid epidemic. It will give hope to families and it will save lives.

As a physician, I believe it is vital to support initiatives that will help to prevent seniors from misusing or becoming addicted to opioids while managing their chronic pain. One of the ways to address the opioid crisis is to prevent Americans from becoming addicted in the first place. By screening seniors as they enter the Medicare system, we can use this milestone as an opportunity to address their concerns and manage their chronic pain while reducing risks associated with opioid use. As opioid use disorder continues to increase among older Americans, our seniors need to understand the risks of opioid use and discuss with their physicians the best course of treatment.


Full text of legislation

Section-by-Section Summary

Legislation within H.R. 6 introduced by Dr. Bucshon
Section 2002, Comprehensive Screenings for Seniors, which is a revised version of the, Opioid Screening and Chronic Pain Management Alternatives for Seniors Act (H.R. 5798) introduced by Dr. Bucshon. This section will update the Welcome to Medicare Initial Assessment to require a physician to screen for opioid use, the potential for abuse, provide information on non-opioid alternatives, and to provide a referral if needed to a pain specialist physician or qualified non-physician practitioner. According to HHS OIG, in 2016, 1 in 3 Medicare Part D beneficiaries received a prescription opioid, and about 500,000 beneficiaries received high amounts of opioids.

Previous action taken by Dr. Bucshon to combat the opioid crisis
21st Century Cures Act, an innovation game-changer that includes significant investments, $5.3 billion in total, to accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of cutting-edge, life-saving cures and treatments. Dr. Bucshon’s bill to reduce fraud in the Medicaid program (H.R. 3716) is included to help fully fund the $6.3 billion package without adding to the deficit. Dr. Bucshon’s statement.
Became Law December 13, 2016

Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act This legislation, known as CARA, established a comprehensive strategy for improving evidence-based treatment for patients with substance-use disorders and made significant changes to expand access to addiction services and overdose reversal medications. Dr. Bucshon championed Section 303, which updated the Controlled Substances Act and Office-Based Opioid Addiction Treatment laws to ensure that patients seeking treatment for opioid addiction are offered, and physicians are trained on, all forms of FDA-approved MAT.  Dr. Bucshon’s statement.
Became Law July 22, 2016.

 Recent events hosted by Dr. Bucshon and resources passed to combat the opioid crisis
Earlier this year, Dr. Bucshon hosted two opioid round table events with community leaders in Southwest Indiana. Terre Haute and Evansville

 Indiana Granted $10.9 Million to combat opioid crisis secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar, announced the second year of funding totaling $485 million to continue the nation’s efforts to combat the opioid crisis. Dr. Bucshon’s statement.

Indiana Granted $27 Million to combat opioid crisis by Health and Human Services as part of $1 billion grant.

$4 billion appropriated in 2018

$6.7 billion included in the recent Defense-Labor-HHS appropriations

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