APA Applauds Passage of Opioid Legislation as Important Step; Calls on Senate to Pass Legislation Reforming 42 CFR Part 2

Washington, D.C. – Today the Senate passed H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, which authorizes a broad range of opioid treatment and prevention programs, including many for which the APA has advocated. The bill does not include The Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety (OPPS) Act, H.R. 6082, which recently passed the House of Representatives by a bi-partisan vote of 357-57.

“Opioid use disorder has taken a heavy toll on the health and well-being of Americans,” said APA President Altha Stewart, M.D. “The APA is grateful to see bipartisan support for increased access to treatment for substance use disorders, including expanded access to residential treatment and medication assisted treatment. We are also pleased to see provisions in H.R. 6 to deter opioid abuse. Together, these efforts take many important steps toward combatting the opioid crisis across the country. However, we are disappointed that the final bill did not include critical reforms to align 42 CFR Part 2 with HIPAA, which would improve care coordination and patient safety for the treatment of substance use disorders while preserving patient privacy. This much-needed legislation passed the House earlier this year with overwhelming bipartisan support. We urge the Senate to hold a separate vote on the OPPS Act to ensure that these enhanced patient safety, care coordination and consumer protections become law.”

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,800 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org.

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