This week, Chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, Representative Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Ranking Member Sandy Levin (D-MI) joined Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) in releasing a white paper outlining solutions to combat the opioid epidemic.
Representative Roskam has sought feedback from medical stakeholders and constituents that include ideas lawmakers may consider to prevent and treat opioid abuse and dependence in the Medicare Program. The Ways and Means Committee placed a Request for Information (RFI) which received over 100 submissions.
"The opioid crisis is ravaging our communities, including in my district," Representative Roskam said. "I've spent time in the district listening to doctors, police chiefs, educators and care takers and I have heard a common theme: legislation that strengthens education, treatment and screening is needed to ensure Medicare beneficiaries and their families are protected. It's a tragic situation to see a loved one in pain -- we need to work together and use all tools available to us to deal with this crisis."
Click here to read the white paper: https://waysandmeansforms.house.gov/uploadedfiles/brady_neal_roskam_levin_white_paper.pdf
Recommendations from stakeholders in the white paper include:
Improve treatment and reimbursements, including increasing access to Medication Assisted Treatment, utilization and access to non-opioid treatments of pain, as well as modernizing reimbursement and quality measures;
Utilize tools to prevent overprescribing and abuse, including Part D lock-in, limiting prescriptions, and better data tracking; and
Enhance screening for opioid use disorders, provider education and communication, and patient education.