December 19, 2019
ASA Applauds Lawmakers for Urging HHS Implementation of ASA Legislation to Reduce Opioid Use
On December 13, 2019, Representatives Brian Higgins (NY-26) and Jason Smith (MO-08) sent a joint communication to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requesting the status of implementation on ASA-supported provisions of legislation, known as the Perioperative Reduction of Opioids (PRO) Act. The PRO Act was incorporated into H.R. 6, the Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act, enacted into law in October 2018.
The key provisions of the PRO Act establish a Technical Expert Panel (TEP) to identify and promote best practices to reduce opioids in the surgical setting with the involvement of medical and surgical specialty societies and hospital organizations. The ASA is committed to practices that minimize patients’ exposure to opioids, while ensuring patients have access to appropriate pain treatments.
ASA was a strong supporter of the PRO Act and worked closely with Representatives Higgins and Smith to ensure it was among the proposals included as part of H.R. 6, the SUPPORT Act. ASA believes the bill could expand the use of multimodel care and the Perioperative Surgical Home (PSH) as a model of care to reduce patient exposure to and use of opioids as part of the surgical experience.
ASA thanks Representatives Higgins and Smith for inquiring with HHS on the status of the TEP and looks forward to future collaborations with Congress and the Administration to address the opioid epidemic.