House Energy and Commerce Committee Approves PDMP Authorization Bill, Protecting Our Infants Act

House Energy and Commerce Committee approves PDMP authorization bill with language to help promote collaboration with State substance abuse agencies

On Thursday July 23, the House Energy and Commerce Committee considered and approved H.R. 1725, the National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting (NASPER) Reauthorization Act of 2015.  The author of the bill is Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and co-sponsors include Representatives Kennedy (D-MA), Buscon (R-IN), and Pallone (D-N.J.).  The Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health is Joe Pitts (R-PA) and the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee is Gene Green (D-TX).  The bill seeks to continue the momentum gained by States on issues related to data interoperability by requiring applicants for NASPER funds to include certain information in their application.  For example, H.R. 1725 requires applicants to report the extent to which the PDMP program is able to share information with other health IT systems such as e-prescribing systems, health information exchanges and electronic health records systems.

Coordination with NASADAD members:  The NASPER Reauthorization Act of 2015, under Section (h), the “Education and Access to the Monitoring Section,” requires States receiving NASPER funding to “…facilitate linkage to the State substance abuse agency and substance use disorder services.”  Additional language regarding State substance abuse agencies is included in a section requiring the release of a federal report not later than three years after federal funds are first appropriated under NASPER.  This report, among other issues, must include an analysis of the “…extent to which the operation of controlled substance monitoring programs have reduced inappropriate use, abuse, or diversion of controlled substances, established or strengthened initiatives to ensure linkages to substance use disorder services” and other matters.

Federal appropriations for NASPER would still need to be approved: In order for grants to move forward under NASPER, Congress would have to consider and pass federal funding for the bill.  The bill authorizes $10 million for this purpose.  Successful applicants would receive funds based on a formula.  No FY 2016 funds were proposed to be directed to NASPER by the Administration, Senate or House Appropriations Committees.

Opening statements note importance of addressing opioid issue:  In opening statements, a number of Subcommittee members commented on the impact of the opioid issue in their districts.  Rep. Whitfield, for example, noted how work to reauthorize NASPER has been moving forward for a number of years.  He also noted that other programs that help support PDMPs are housed in the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He expressed his hope that work could be done to help coordinate these efforts.  Representatives Upton, Pallone, Pitts echoed their own concerns with the opioid issue and the need for action.  Rep. Kennedy dedicated his time to telling a story seems representative of thousands of others across the country where the use of opioid pain relievers lead to addiction, overdose and ultimately death.

House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Committee Considers and Approves H.R. 1462, the Protecting Our Infants Act

On Thursday, July 23, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health considered and approved H.R. 1426, the Protecting Our Infants Act authored by Representatives Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Steve Stivers (R-OH).  The author in the Senate is Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).  The bill would authorize the Secretary of HHS, through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to conduct a study and develop recommendations for preventing and treating  prenatal opioid abuse and NAS.  The bill would also authorize the Secretary of HHS to lead a review of planning and coordination efforts across HHS.  Finally, the legislation would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to offer technical assistance to States to improve the availability and quality of data related to NAS.

To see a NASADAD two pager on the Protecting Our Infants Act, please visit http://nasadad.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Protecting-Our-Infants-Act-Section-by-Section.pdf

To see a NASADAD two pager on NAS, please visit http://nasadad.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/NAS-Fact-Sheet-Final.pdf

To see NASADAD’s statement on the Use of Medications for substance use disorders, please visit http://nasadad.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/NASADAD-Statement-on-MAT.pdf.

Next Steps for Both Bills

The full Energy and Commerce Committee is expected to consider both bills.  This could take place as early as next week.  The Chairman of the Full Energy and Commerce Committee is Fred Upton (R-MI) and the Ranking Member is Frank Pallone (D-N.J.).

Additional Resources

To see the Committee’s background memo on the bills, please visit http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF14/20150723/103818/HMKP-114-IF14-20150723-SD005.pdf.

To see the opening statement by Rep. Pitts, please visit http://energycommerce.house.gov/sites/republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/files/114/Markups/Health/20150723/HMKP-114-IF14-MState-P000373-20150723.pdf.

To see the opening statement by Rep. Upton, please visit http://energycommerce.house.gov/sites/republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/files/114/Markups/Health/20150723/HMKP-114-IF14-MState-P000373-20150723.pdf.