House of Representatives Passes Major Opioid Legislation
The House of Representatives declared both the weeks of June 11th and June 18th as “Opioid Week” and took the opportunity to debate over 30 unique pieces of legislation to help address the current opioid crisis in the United States. Topics covered by this legislation ranged from patient education, additional funds for substance use disorder treatment facilities, to more focus on pain management alternatives to opioids. A more controversial bill, the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act—which allows for the disclosure of substance use disorder patient records without a patient’s written consent to physicians or public health authorities, in accordance to HIPAA laws.
Speaking about the broader range of opioid bills, Energy & Commerce chairman Greg Walden, and Health Subcommittee chair Mike Burgess, MD, both indicated that this will not be the last legislative response to this crisis but the legislation “does include meaningful solutions that will update archaic policies, better equip our communities to respond to this evolving epidemic and save lives.”
AAOS followed this debate closely, responding to requests for information put out both by the House Energy & Commerce Committee, and the House Ways & Means Committee.