CEPOP-MAPDA Webinars to Continue on August 10th, 17th

Thank you to all CEPOP participants and allies who joined last week for the dual All-Participants Teleconference and CEPOP-MAPDA policy webinar on Policy Changes for Medication-Assisted Treatment During COVID-19. Over the course of the first two sessions, we’re thrilled to have more than 250 attendees joining for important and impactful discussions related to the confluence of the national epidemic and global pandemic.

Recordings of the first two sessions, along with additional information, is available on the CEPOP website.

It’s not too late to register for the last two sessions. For additional information or to register for the series, please visit the event page.

The final two webinars will focus on the following topics:

Monday, August 10th (3:00pm – 4:00pm): Addressing Access and Utilization of Opioid Overdose Reversal Medications
Recognizing the changes in prescribing policy and availability for prescription opioids and medication-assisted treatment, there remains an increasingly important need for access to overdose reversal medications. The panel will discuss options for improving this condition and preventing unnecessary overdoses.

Monday, August 17th (3:00pm – 4:00pm): Addressing Excess Medications in the Home
With the primary point of care now being in the home, additional considerations should be given to addressing and mitigating the risk of excess controlled substances. How do SUPPORT Act and other authorities enable this element of the response?

Please reach out to Matt Rubin with any questions.

Medicare Issues E-Prescribing RFI for Controlled Substances

On Thursday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services published a request for information (RFI) to stakeholders pursuant to Section 2003 of the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act and policies related to the electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS). Passed in October 2018, the SUPPORT Act required that controlled substance prescriptions under the Medicare Advantage and Part D programs be transmitted electronically – beginning January 1, 2021 – with specific penalties levied for noncompliance. There has been significant support, to date, for EPCS due to its ability to further streamline care coordination, oversee overprescribing, and reduce the potential for prescription fraud or diversion. CMS is seeking input from stakeholders around the types of exceptions and under what circumstances should providers avoid penalty for EPCS noncompliance.

This RFI will be published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, August 4th with a 60-day public comment period opening at that time.

Articles & Resources

Federal Register Medicare Program: Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances; Request for Information

Inside Health Policy – CMS Seeks Input on Exceptions to Controlled Substances Electronic Rx

What We Read Last Week

Several articles were published last week pertaining to the opioid epidemic, covering a variety of different components of the issue. Links to relevant articles are provided below.

Articles & Resources

Reuters – U.S. Judge Rejects Imposing Attorney Fee Levy on Opioid Lawsuit Settlements

Law360 – Opioid MDL Judge Won’t Set Up $3B Fund for Plaintiff’s Attorneys

Forbes – States Scramble to Deal with the Compounding COVID and Opioid Epidemic

Harvard Political Review – The Lonely OD: America’s Opioid Crisis Meets COVID-19

Seattle Times – Police Seize Fentanyl Worth $14 Million in Snohomish County’s Largest Drug Bust

WIS News 10 – Opioid Overdoses Up 50% in S.C. This Year Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Missoulian – Ennis Pharmacist Pleads Guilty to Diverting Opioids

American Medical Association – Nation’s Drug Overdose Epidemic Requires New Policy Focus

Association of American Medical Colleges – COVID-19 and the Opioid Crisis: When a Pandemic and an Epidemic Collide

Journal of the American Medical Association – Association of Maternal Opioid Use in Pregnancy With Adverse Perinatal Outcomes in Ontario, Canada, From 2012 to 2018

Michigan Department of Health & Human Services – Opioid Overdoses Surge During COVID-19 Pandemic: MDHHS Promotes Treatment and Resources

Department of Justice – Florida Doctor Charged in Massive $681 Million Substance Abuse Treatment Fraud Scheme

Department of Justice – West Virginia Doctor Pleaded Guilty to Lying to the DEA

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California United States Reaches $200,000 Settlement with Siskiyou County Pharmacy for Controlled Substances Act Violations

This Week’s Calendar

While the House has cancelled its August recess until a comprehensive pandemic response is passed, Members are home in-district subject to a 24-hour notice for return to the District. The Senate will remain in session next week although no opioid-related hearings or events are scheduled at this time. In the instance that there are any changes to the schedule for this week, we will make additional information available.

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