White House releases report on opioid crisis

On November 1, 2017, the White House released a report drafted by the President’s Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.  The report offers 56 recommendations for action by Congress, federal agencies, state governments, health care provider organizations, and health care payers. 

Those include:

  • New training programs on screening patients for substance use and mental health status in order to identify patients who may be at risk of opioid addiction and overdoses.
  • Correcting rate-setting methodologies that may inadvertently discourage use of non-opioid pain management options.
  • Updating rate-setting methodologies to correctly determine the costs of needed substance use disorder (SUD) treatment in in-patient and out-patient settings.
  • Increasing payment rates where needed to expand networks of addiction treatment professionals.
  • Expanding the use of recovery coaches, especially in hard-hit areas.
  • Revising coverage and reimbursement policies to allow for SUD treatment via telemedicine.
  • Allowing emergency medical technicians to administer life-saving antidotes such as naloxone for fentanyl overdoses.
  • New guidelines and reimbursement policies for recovery support services such as peer-to-peer programs, life-skills training, supportive housing, and recovery housing.

The White House report is available here