SUPPORT FOR PATIENTS AND COMMUNITIES ACT (FEDERAL OPIOID LAW): PROVISIONS IMPACTING PROVIDERS

 

            On October 24, 2018, the President signed the SUPPORT (Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment) for Patients and Communities Act, a law that won overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress. The law is considered by most experts as a good step forward in addressing the nation’s opioid epidemic, but that more than the $6 billion allocated will be necessary to solve the crisis. The law is intended to expand access to treatment, increase education and awareness about opioid prescribing and opioid abuse, increase screening for opioid abuse, and prevent fraud in opioid prescribing.

            The sweeping law consists of 660 pages and makes changes to Medicare, Medicaid, and several other federal laws.  Listed below are some of the provisions that could impact providers.  Many of these provisions require studies and reports that won’t immediately impact providers, but could in the future, depending on the findings of these reports.  The law specifically requires consultation with providers as well as medical and specialty societies in preparing their preparation.