Senate Passes Opioid Legislation / by Joe Furia

Debbie Johnston, Senior Vice President of Policy Development

This week the U.S. Senate passed a package of more than 70 bills to address the opioid crisis. Known as the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, the Senate must now reconcile its measure with previously passed House legislation which itself combines more than 50 bills. The Senate package includes some significant differences from the House legislation. For example, the Senate bill does not include House-passed provisions to:

  • Partially repeal the Institutions for Mental Disease (IMD) exclusion; and

  • Ease privacy restrictions for “Part 2” providers.

AzHHA supports the full repeal of the IMD exclusion and easing certain restrictions on “Part 2” providers. Until recently, Arizona had been able to utilize much-needed IMD beds to treat patients with behavioral health and substance use disorder diagnoses. In addition, easing privacy restrictions on “Part 2” providers who treat patients with substance use disorders will improve care coordination between providers.