ACAP Statement on Opioid Bill Markup
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 17, 2018
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Jeff Van Ness, (202) 204-7515
STATEMENT OF ACAP CEO MARGARET A. MURRAY ON OPIOID BILL MARKUP
WASHINGTON – Margaret A. Murray, CEO of the Association of Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP), today issued the following statement as the House Energy & Commerce Committee marked up a slate of bills aimed at addressing the nation’s opioid crisis.
“ACAP applauds Congress’ attention to this important issue, and its bipartisan approach to these bills. We and our member Safety Net Health Plans stand prepared to help Congress to maximize the potential in Medicare and Medicaid to address this crisis. Many of our plans have developed insights and strategies to address the crisis that ACAP has endeavored to share widely, and we look forward to doing so further.
“We strongly support the language under consideration of the House Energy & Commerce Committee that would require states to measure and report on certain adult health quality measures, especially those that pertain to opioid care. From the health plan perspective, this is one of the most important things that Congress can do to combat the opioid crisis. This will provide a system-wide picture of how well Medicaid is delivering care to people struggling with substance use disorder. ACAP has long supported such an approach, a version of which was featured in the recently-passed Bipartisan Budget Act.
“There is also an opportunity for Congress to improve care for people who live with substance abuse issues: updating patient privacy measures pertaining to substance abuse at 42 CFR Part 2. As written, these regulations have the perverse impact of impeding efforts to coordinate care by segregating records pertaining to substance use disorder from the rest of the health care system. In an era of increased teamwork in medical care, this leads to worse health outcomes—and, ironically, may exacerbate the very stigma for people receiving treatment for SUD that the regulations intended to prevent.
“Congress should take a second look and consider bringing these regulations into line with HIPAA, which contains powerful patient privacy protections.”
“We’re ready to share our experiences with Congress and to assist in the effort to combat opioid use disorder.”
ACAP represents 61 Safety Net Health Plans, which provide health coverage to more than 21 million people in 29 states. Safety Net Health Plans serve their members through Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Marketplace and other health programs. For more information, visit www.communityplans.net.
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