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Wave of Opioid Bills in Senate Could Impact Hospice

Posted on Friday, June 1, 2018 8:16 PM

Leaders of the Senate Finance Committee have announced the introduction of 22 opioid epidemic related bills that fall under their jurisdiction.  The Finance Committee plans to hold a mark-up on these bills in the weeks to come.  These bills could have a significant effect on Medicare and Medicaid programs.

The following Acts are important for hospice providers to be aware of:

  1. Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act – Under this Act, all Medicare D prescriptions for controlled substances must be submitted electronically to avoid altered or fraudulent prescriptions.
  2. Commit to Opioid Medical Prescriber Accountability and Safety for Seniors Act – The Secretary of Health and Human Services will develop and implement a program of identifying and notifying practitioners that prescribe an elevated number of opioids falling into an outlier category under Medicare Part D. The metrics of what qualifies as an outlier would be determined by the Secretary. Prescriptions for patients in hospice care would be exempt from this Act. 

Addressing the opioid epidemic continues to be a top priority for both parties. Congressional leadership from both chambers have stated their intent to pass legislation this summer that combats the epidemic from multiple angles.

Source: NAHC Report

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