House Panel Passes Slate of HITN Opioid Safety Alliance-Endorsed Bills

WASHINGTON, DC (April 26, 2018): Health IT Now's Opioid Safety Alliance - a working group of prescribers, dispensers, professional societies, and patients advocating for the use of technology to fight illegitimate opioid use - celebrated the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee passage of a slate of Alliance-backed bills yesterday evening that will be integral in the fight against opioid misuse, including:

  • H.R. 4841, the Standardizing Electronic Prior Authorization for Safe Prescribing Act of 2018, authored by Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ). Health IT Now led nearly 20 organizations on an endorsement letter urging passage of the legislation and held a Congressional briefing with Rep. Schweikert on the importance of this policy earlier today. 
  • H.R. 3528, the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act, authored by Reps. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Health IT Now conducted an independent cost study of the bill finding it would save taxpayers $13 billion.
  • H.R. 5603, the Access to Telehealth Services for Opioid Use Disorders Act, authored by Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA). Health IT Now assembled nearly a dozen groups on a letter supporting the bill earlier this month.
  • H.R. __, the Medicaid PARTNERSHIP Act and H.R. __draft legislation to improve state-run prescription drug monitoring programs. Health IT Now's Opioid Safety Alliance has advocated for measures like those included in these two bills to strengthen the effectiveness of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) and protect continued funding.

Health IT Now Executive Director Joel White released the following statement:

"Health IT Now's Opioid Safety Alliance thanks Chairman Burgess and members of the subcommittee for their work to advance these policy solutions that will leverage the power of technology to save innocent lives from the scourge of opioid misuse," said HITN Executive Director Joel White. "These measures earned the Alliance's support because they fill an unmet need and have been shown to actually work. The Subcommittee-passed telehealth bill, for example, is crucial because more than half of U.S. counties lack access to a single practicing behavioral health worker. Meanwhile, the e-prescribing legislation advanced yesterday would help thwart fraudulent scripts while generating billions in savings to taxpayers that can be reinvested in the fight against this devastating public health crisis."

White concluded, "Health IT Now calls upon Chairman Walden and members of the full committee to quickly pass these commonsense reforms without delay and to continue their work on other needed measures, including comprehensive legislation to deliver real-time, in-workflow data to clinicians across states as well as reforms to the flawed 42 CFR Part 2 law that will better empower prescribers with a full picture of a patient’s treatment history.”