(Washington, D.C.) – This week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed 32 opioid related bills out of committee, including two bills introduced by Rep. Larry Bucshon, M.D. (IN-08). These committee-approved bills, including the two introduced by Dr. Bucshon, now await further consideration by the full House of Representatives.
Dr. Bucshon introduced the Opioid Screening and Chronic Pain Management Alternatives for Seniors Act (H.R. 5798) to 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. This bipartisan legislation was introduced with Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-MN).
“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,” said Dr. Bucshon. “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.”
Dr. Bucshon also joined Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA) in introducing the Postoperative Opioid Prevention Act (H.R. 5809), which would give patients greater access to innovative non-opioid alternatives for postoperative pain management. Specifically, this bill improves incentives for innovation through additional payments for non-opioid pain management alternatives. To qualify for payment under this policy, non-opioid alternatives must demonstrate a substantial clinical improvement compared to the benefits of available drugs on the market.
“One way to address the opioid crisis is to prevent patients from misusing or becoming addicted to opioids in the first place by promoting the use of non-opioid alternatives. This common-sense legislation addresses the lack of non-opioid alternatives for post-surgical pain management and begins to move our society away from the destructive crisis raging nationwide,” concluded Dr. Bucshon.
Full Bill Texts: