WASHINGTON, DC (December 19, 2018): Health IT Now - a broad-based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers, and payers supporting the use of data and health information technology to improve healthcare - presented its annual Health IT Pioneer award to Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) for his leadership as the lead Republican sponsor of the bipartisan Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act and for his work to modernize patient privacy laws as the author of the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act.
Rep. Mullin's Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act, which was included in the sweeping opioid measure signed into law by President Trump earlier this year, would require the electronic prescribing of controlled substances within Medicare’s prescription drug program; generating real-time information on each opioid prescription that can be used to combat fraudulent, duplicative scripts. A Health IT Now study of the legislation found that it could save taxpayers $13 billion over the next decade.
The Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act, which passed the House of Representatives in June by a bipartisan vote of 357-57 but has not yet received a vote in the U.S. Senate, would reform the flawed patient privacy law known as 42 CFR Part 2 that silos addiction treatment information from the rest of an individual's medical record, thereby preventing prescribers from making fully informed clinical decisions. Health IT Now is part of a broad coalition pushing for inclusion of this policy solution in a year-end Senate funding measure.
HITN Executive Director Joel White released the following statement congratulating Congressman Mullin:
”Congressman Mullin is driving the fight to use technology and data to spur improvements in healthcare, particularly when it comes to the devastating opioid crisis. His Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act - passed overwhelmingly by the House of Representatives but still languishing in the Senate - would finally remove the electronic wall between patients' addiction treatment records and the rest of their health history. For too long, this barrier has impeded care coordination and prevented prescribers from making fully informed clinical decisions based on a clear picture of a patient's overall health - a discrepancy that has proven lethal in the past," said HITN Executive Director Joel White. "What's more, his legislation to require the electronic prescribing of controlled substances like opioids within Medicare Part D, now signed into law thanks to his relentless efforts, gives clinicians a powerful new tool to track opioid dispensing and thwart fraudulent scripts, all while saving American taxpayers billions in the process."
White concluded, "On behalf of Health IT Now, we thank Congressman Mullin for his bold leadership on 21st-century solutions to our most pressing healthcare challenges, and we are proud to bestow him with this well-deserved honor."
Other Health IT Pioneers for 2018 include Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and John Thune (R-SD) and Representatives Anne Kuster (D-NH), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and David Schweikert (R-AZ).