Two key U.S. House committees hope to advance legislation this week that addresses the nation’s opioid crisis. The House Energy and Commerce Committee, which last week approved 25 opioid-related bills, will vote on another 34 bills on May 17.
Key among these will be proposals to align privacy rules for patients undergoing substance use disorder (SUD) treatment with privacy rules in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Release of SUD patient information is governed by 42 CFR Part 2. Another proposal would loosen the restrictions on using Medicaid funds for treatment in institutions for mental disease.
Meanwhile, the House Ways and Means Committee will consider a package of bills this week that address aspects of the opioid epidemic that affect the Medicare program. Lawmakers hope to bring a joint package to the House floor in early June. (John Flink, WSHA Federal Lobbyist)