Next week, the House will consider multiple pieces of legislation to address the opioid epidemic, many of which will improve mental health and substance use care.
Representatives will consider legislation that will:
- Make it easier for people who have Medicare to access telemedicine for mental health and substance use care (Access to Telehealth Services for Opioid Use Disorders Act – H.R. 5603);
- Require the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) cover mental health and substance use conditions (CHIP Mental Health Parity Act – H.R. 3192); and
- Allow people using Medicare Part D to get prior authorization electronically from their health care providers for needed medications (PASS Act of 2018 – H.R. 5773).
Congress is taking steps to treat health information fairly across all conditions. H.R. 5795, the Protect the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records Act, will align an outdated federal regulation, 42 CFR Part 2, with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This will allow for better integration and coordination of treatment—and better outcomes for people with mental health and substance use conditions.
Act now. Ask your Representative to support these bills to address the opioid crisis and provide improved care for all people with mental health and substance use conditions.