The 660-page opioid bill that passed Congress and was signed October 24 by President Trump has important provisions for opioid treatment programs (OTPs). The most significant provision expands coverage to Medicare patients. Starting in 2020, Medicare will be required to pay a bundled rate for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in an OTP. This means that when patients turn 65 … [Read more...] about Most Important Aspect of Congress’ Opioid Bill: Medicare for OTPs
42 CFR Part 2 protects the privacy of patient substance use disorder (SUD) treatment records. It’s been under siege for 10 years, but so far, it is still the law. H.R. 6082 would have replaced the confidentiality regulation, 42 CFR Part 2, with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It would also have removed the requirement that patients consent to … [Read more...] about 42 CFR Part 2: It’s Still Under Threat, Misunderstood; But OTP Patients Need It!
Health care teams are brought up short when they see the words opioid use disorder on the chart, and the patient is scheduled for surgery. Suddenly what had seemed a simple procedure has turned into a real challenge. Key questions: Is the patient using illicit opioids? Is he in an opioid treatment program (OTP)? If so, what medication is he taking—methadone, buprenorphine, … [Read more...] about When OTP Patients Face Surgical Pain, OTP and Surgical Staff Work Together to Help
Healthy Women, a group that has been active for 30 years, is expanding its work around policy and advocacy, and recently released a toolkit for female state legislators to use in getting support for legislation to address the opioid epidemic. “The toolkit was designed as a way to get resources and insights to women legislators,” explained Michael D. Miller, MD, HealthyWomen’s … [Read more...] about Toolkit Helps Women State Legislators With Opioid Bills
I spent hours visiting with Robert Newman, MD, beloved methadone advocate, over the past 30 years. He gave me my first tour of a large opioid treatment program (OTP). He taught me priceless lessons about the value of integrity, and even though he was not a journalist but a physician, he understood journalism better than most reporters and medical writers. When he died this … [Read more...] about In Memoriam: Bob Newman