Advocacy Alert: Federal Bills on Overdose Funding and Evidence-Based Standards

July 19, 2018

Federal HB 5176: Preventing Overdoses While In Emergency Rooms Act of 2018

On March 6, 2018, HB 5176 was introduced in the House of Representatives. The Preventing Overdoses While in Emergency Rooms Act of 2018, if passed, will establish a grant program for two purposes:

  1. develop protocols for discharging patients who are treated for a drug overdose, and
  2. enhance the integration and coordination of post-discharge care and treatment options for individuals with a substance use disorder.

As of June 13, this bipartisan bill has passed the House and moved to the Senate, where it was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

BHAP is in support of this legislation. If passed, hospital emergency departments and community hospitals that are in locations with higher than average overdose rates will receive additional funding for substance use disorder counseling, education, referral, and overdose reversal medications. This will help those areas continue to combat the opioid crisis.

BHAP encourages you to reach out to your representative to show your support of this legislation.

Federal HB 5272: RESULTS Act of 2018

On March 22, 2018, HB 5272 was introduced into the House of Representatives. The Reinforcing Evidence-Based Standards Under Law in Treating Substance Abuse Act of 2018, if passed, would amend the Public Health Service Act to require applicants to demonstrate that a program or activity is evidence-based when applying for support from the Department of Health and Human Services.

As of June 13, this moderately partisan bill (10 Republicans, 2 Democrats) has passed the House and moved to the Senate, where it was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

BHAP is opposed to this legislation. While on the surface the act seems appropriate clarifying of where financial support would go, the legislation lacks a definition of what 'evidence-based' means, which means it would be up for individual interpretation.

BHAP encourages you to reach out to your representative to show your opposition to this legislation, or to encourage them to define what 'evidence-based' means.

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