September 17, 2018

Senate Set to Pass Cassidy Legislation Targeting Opioid Crisis

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), released the following statement today as the Senate prepares to pass the Opioid Crisis Response Act (H.R. 6), bipartisan legislation that includes several provisions authored by Cassidy to combat the opioid epidemic.

“The opioid epidemic hits every level of our society and to combat it we need a strong, sustained, ‘do-everything’ response,” said Dr. Cassidy. “My provisions in this legislation were informed by my conversations with Louisiana law enforcement officials and community leaders, and they are aimed at creating safer families and healthier communities.”

Once the Senate passes the bill, it will be reconciled with the version passed by the House of Representatives in June before final passage.

Cassidy provisions included in the Senate bill include:

  • Provisions from CARA 2.0, legislation introduced in February
    • Sec 1409: Directs the Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary to issue best practices for recovery residences
    • Sec 1501: Instructs HHS to deliver a report on the effect instituted fill limits on prescriptions has on addiction
    • Sec 3309: Provides first responders with training to prevent accidental exposure to fentanyl
  • Sec 1303: Institutes interoperability for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Customs and Border Protection technology used to detect and seize illicit drugs at the border
  • Sec 1309: Allows for the direct administration of injectable/implantable buprenorphine, expanding access to medication-assisted treatment
  • Sec 1420: Provides greater awareness of permitted patient information disclosures during medical emergencies, specifically overdoses, under federal privacy laws (including Part 2 and HIPAA)
  • Sec 1507: Allows states to use prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) grant dollars to create a real-time system to track overprescribing and abuse
  • Sec 2109: the COMBAT Act – Allows Medicare to pay for opioid use disorder treatment