Several weeks ago, the House of Representatives passed HR 6, or the “SUPPORT Patients and Communities Act.” Many provisions of HR 6, if they remain in a compromise version of the bill, could be detrimental to pain patients. These provisions include:
- Discouraging use of opioids post-surgery, even for major procedures
- State reports on daily MME on covered individuals
- Increased surveillance in hospitals and ERs on number of opioid prescriptions written
- Medicare to investigate high-volume prescribers & take “corrective action” against “over-prescribers”
- Medicare survey of patients may not include questions about how pain was managed unless they also include risks of opioid use
- Restricting certain individuals in Medicaid to limited providers and pharmacies
U.S. Pain Foundation is concerned these provisions would negatively impact people living with pain, particularly those who rely on opioids to manage their severe daily pain. If you are concerned, we ask you to reach out to your federal representatives and tell them.
It should be noted that U.S. Pain does support other measures in the bill, including improving data on pain patients and pain management; promoting affordable access to high-quality opioid use disorder treatment; addressing barriers to abuse-deterrent opioids and medication-assisted treatment; encouraging education on safe disposal of unused medication; and reducing counterfeit or contaminated drugs shipped to the United States.
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