What They’re Saying About Health IT Now’s Opioid Safety Alliance

WASHINGTON, DC (January 26, 2018): Yesterday, Health IT Now launched its Opioid Safety Alliance – a working group of the top names in healthcare and technology dedicated to advancing shared solutions to stem the tide of opioid misuse. The group is already set to testify before the FDA’s Opioid Policy Steering Committee on January 30th. 

Here’s a sampling of the reaction to this first-of-its-kind multistakeholder effort: 

“Health IT Now is launching a new group today, called the Opioid Safety Alliance, intended to explore technology solutions to the opioid crisis. The group’s members include IBM, McKesson, and the Association of Behavioral Health and Wellness, among others. Legislatively, the Alliance wants greater funding for prescription drug monitoring programs, expanded telehealth, and bills expanding data-sharing … They’ll be testifying Jan. 30 before the FDA’s Opioid Policy Steering Committee.” 

Inside Health Policy:
“The alliance argues Congress should provide additional funding to enhance PDMPs to allow interoperability across states, and harmonize current laws with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements to improve provider access to patients’ medical records … Health IT Now says its testimony at FDA on Jan. 30 ‘is a first step’ that will lead to a more ambitious agenda. ‘We have an ambitious and comprehensive advocacy agenda complete with meetings with individual Congressional offices, a future Capitol Hill briefing, and other activities throughout the year,’ the group says.” 

Washington Examiner:
“The Health IT Now coalition started an alliance on Thursday dedicated to finding solutions to combating opioid abuse, including more virtual care and more accurate electronic records. The new effort, called the Opioid Safety Alliance, includes the pharmacy chain Walgreens and drug distributor McKesson … It also includes tech giants IBM and Oracle. One change the group is advocating include allowing healthcare providers to know all information about a patient’s medical history, including substance abuse.” 

“A new alliance launched by Health IT Now features providers, technology startups and medical associations geared towards leveraging data and technology to combat the opioid epidemic … the group is scheduled to testify next week at the Food and Drug Administration’s Opioid Policy Steering Committee meeting … David Guth, the CEO of Centerstone, one of the nation’s largest behavioral health providers, added that the reforms pushed through the alliance will assist with treatment and ‘carry the potential to help intervene before addiction sets in.'”

Health Data Management: 
“Healthcare information technology leaders have joined forces to help harness the power of HIT in an effort to address the opioid overdose epidemic that continues to ravage the country … The Opioid Safety Alliance, which includes IBM, Intermountain Healthcare, McKesson, Oracle, RelayHealth, and Walgreens, is dedicated to advancing a HIT-centric policy agenda.”

Healthcare IT News:
“The alliance will work to garner funding to upgrade prescription drug monitoring program software, which every state except Missouri has in place. Specifically, the group will make a push to Congress to allow interoperability between state PDMPs. Further, the group will work to ensure all clinicians have access to substance abuse information as part of the 42 CFR Part 2 reform. Portions of 42 CFR Part 2 place restrictions on when addiction records can be shared with providers, even if a patient has given access … Members will also work to provide a more accurate picture of a patient’s medical history when opioids are prescribed or dispensed by a Facilitator Model for Patient Safety, which would mirror the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs standards. “

To learn more, visit HealthITNow.org/OpioidSafetyAlliance.