April 09, 2019
ASA-Endorsed Bill to Address Opioid Crisis Reintroduced in Congress
On April 3, 2019, Representatives Markwayne Mullin (R-OK-02) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03) reintroduced American Society of Anesthesiologists-supported legislation, H.R. 2062, the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act. An identical bill, S.1012, the Protecting Jessica Grubb’s Legacy Act (Legacy Act) was introduced the same day by Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Joe Manchin (D-WV). These bills would address the opioid crisis by enhancing health care provider access to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment records while strengthening privacy protections for those records. The bills would allow medical providers to more safely and effectively treat patients with SUD while maintaining their privacy protections.
Last Congress, ASA supported this bill when it passed in the House alongside H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. H.R. 6 was eventually signed into law but the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act did not advance. This bill would align the regulations, known as 42 CFR Part 2 (or “Part 2”), with the patient privacy protections currently in place under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), enabling medical providers to utilize SUD treatment records in the same manner as all other medical records.
ASA is pleased these bills were reintroduced in an effort to allow health care providers to treat the whole patient and have an understanding of their full medical history. ASA looks forward to working with Congress as they continue to move forward with additional legislation to address the opioid epidemic.
ASA will continue to monitor this legislation.
Learn more about H.R. 2062.
Learn more about S. 1012.