Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) joined her colleagues on the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force at a Press Conference on Capitol Hill to unveil additions to the Task Force’s legislative agenda.
“Like my colleagues here today, I’ve seen firsthand the devastating effects that the heroin and opioid epidemic has had in my district,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “This crisis is devastating families across our communities. In 2013, an estimated 1.9 million Americans were addicted to or abusing opioid based prescription pain killers. And over the last fifteen years, heroin related deaths have quadrupled.
“In my district, there are amazing organizations doing their part to combat this heinous epidemic, such as SPARCC -- Substance Abuse Prevention and Recovery of Clinton County; Citizen Advocates; the Essex County Heroin and Opioid Prevention Coalition; St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment & Recovery Center in Saranac Lake; Hometowns vs. Heroin Addiction in Warren and Washington Counties; and the Alliance for Better Communities in Jefferson County, among others.
“As a Member of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, I was pleased to help pass the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act last Congress to provide more resources for our communities. But there is much more work to be done and I’m proud to stand here side by side with my colleagues to unveil this updated legislative agenda.”
The legislation unveiled today that Congresswoman Stefanik is cosponsoring includes:
1. H.R. 3692 - Addiction Treatment Access Improvement Act: would expand access to medication-assisted treatment for vulnerable populations such as pregnant and postpartum women by expanding the list of providers eligible to prescribe buprenorphine, an office-based form of medication-assisted treatment, to include clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse midwives, and certified registered nurse anesthetists.
2. H.R. 982 - TREAT Act: Would end the IMD exclusion for individuals who are incarcerated, allowing Medicaid to reimburse for desperately-needed substance abuse treatment services furnished to them.
3. H.R. 2147 - Veterans Treatment Court Improvement Act: Would authorize $5.5m/annum 2017-2027 to VA Secretary to hire 50 additional Veteran’s Justice Outreach Specialists to work with vets in veterans treatment courts.
4. H.R. 4075 - Improve Addiction Education Act: Directs the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) to work with stakeholders in the medical education accreditation community to develop guidelines for the content and certification of courses that address the topic of addiction management/medicine.
5. H.R. 3964 - Opioid Addiction Prevention Act: Requires practitioners applying for DEA licenses to prescribed controlled substances to certify they will only prescribe in keeping with current best practice guidelines.
6. H.R. 3528 - Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act: Starting in 2020, requires all prescriptions for controlled substances through Medicare Part D to be transmitted electronically. Most illegally-obtained opioids are obtained through doctor shopping, forged prescriptions, and/or theft. Requiring e-prescribing can help combat all three methods of illegally obtaining opioids.
7. H.R. 4236 - MONITOR Act: Would require states receiving funds through the 21st Century Cures Act for Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs), to certify that their program meets specific requirements.
8. H.R. 3566 - Addiction Recovery for Rural Communities Act: Modifies three USDA Rural Development programs to give priority to projects related to substance abuse treatment.
Click here for more information about these bills.