White House Releases Safer America Plan

On August 1st, the White House released additional details about President Joseph Biden’s $37 billion Safer America Plan, which includes investments to penalize all forms of fentanyl and fund substance use disorder prevention strategies. More specifically, the Safer America Plan includes a proposal to permanently schedule all fentanyl related substances into Schedule I. The Plan would also establish a 10-year, $15 billion grant program to help states, cities, Tribes, and territories advance prevention strategies and invest in mental health, substance use disorder, and homelessness services. Grant program awardees could use the funds to expand co-responder or alternate responder programs and better equip mental health or substance use disorder providers or social workers to respond to calls, train existing professionals to become certified in evidence-based treatments to address substance use disorder issues, and provide substance use disorder treatment services for individuals who are formerly or currently incarcerated.

Articles & Resources

The White House – FACT SHEET: President Biden’s Safer America Plan

Senate Committee Advances Bill to Update Drug Interdiction Guidance and Address Fentanyl Trafficking

Last week, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee advanced the Eradicating Narcotic Drugs and Formulating Effective New Tools to Address National Yearly Losses of Life (END FENTANYL) Act. The bill would require that the Commissioner of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) update the agency’s drug interdiction guidance – last updated twenty years ago – once every three years. The bill would also require that the CBP Commissioner develop a report outlining the changes and submit the report to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the House Committee on Homeland Security.

Articles & Resources

Senator Rick Scott – Sen. Rick Scott’s Bipartisan END FENTANYL Act to Help Border Patrol Stop Drug Smuggling Advances in Senate

CMS Rule Includes Adoption of New Reporting Measures Related to Opioids

On August 1st, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published their final rule, fiscal year 2023 Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System and Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System final rule, which includes updated policy changes to Medicare fee-for-service payment rates and policies for inpatient hospitals and LTCHs. As part of the final rule, CMS will adopt the Hospital-Harm – Opioid-Related Adverse Events electronic clinical quality measure, a new measure under the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program that will begin with the calendar year 2024 reporting period and fiscal year 2026 payment determination. CMS will also finalize a change to the Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals that will make the Electronic Prescribing Objective’s Query of Prescription Drug Monitoring Program measure mandatory and expand it to include Schedule II opioids.

Articles & Resources

CMS – FY 2023 Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System (LTCH PPS) Final Rule — CMS-1771-F

What We Read Last Week

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

Congressman Brett Guthrie – Guthrie: More Comprehensive Action Needed To Address The Overdose Crisis

DEA – DEA Reminds Families to Discuss the Dangers of Drugs Before Students Return to School

Johns Hopkins – Johns Hopkins Medicine Researchers Find Quicker Way to Treat Hospitalized Patients with Substance Use Disorder

Law360 – W.Va. AG Inks $400M Deal With Drug Distributors Over Opioids

Neuroscience News – Genetic Risk Factors for Opioid Use Disorder Identified

NPR – Overdose reversal drugs gain support at music festivals, but not fentanyl test strips

Rheumatology Advisor – Intervention Improves Acute Pain in Patients on Medication-Assisted Therapy for Opioid Use Disorder

Rheumatology Advisor – Don’t Forget the Caregiver When Treating Substance Use Disorder

WSIU – Fentanyl is devastating Midwest communities. But expanding harm reduction can be difficult

This Week’s Calendar

In the week ahead, there are no relevant events or hearings noticed at this time. In the event that there are any changes to the schedule for this week, we will make additional information available.

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