Curbelo Welcomes House Passage of Comprehensive Legislation to Combat Opioid Epidemic

Legislation includes two proposals Curbelo Championed — COACH Act and REACH OUT Act

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Washington, D.C., September 28, 2018 | Joanna Rodriguez (202-225-2778) | comments

Today, Representative Carlos Curbelo celebrated the passage of a comprehensive and extensive package of bill targeted at combatting the opioid epidemic in the United States. The package included two bills Curbelo championed: H.R. 5699, the bipartisan “Hospital Opioid Solutions Toolkit (HOST) Act of 2018”  and H.R. 5796, the “Responsible Education Achieves Care and Healthy Outcomes for Users’ Treatment (REACH OUT) Act.”

“Today’s legislation will provide our heath care sector, educators, and first responders much-needed tools to combat the opioid crisis that is plaguing communities like South Florida and all across the country,” Curbelo said. “I’m especially proud the HOST Act I introduced was included in today’s bipartisan package. This legislation will offer American hospital systems an additional tool to mitigate some of the unnecessary prescribing that has trapped thousands of Americans in the dangerous cycle of addiction. I’m also grateful to have my bill with Representative Brian Fitzpatrick included to ensure we are facilitating necessary outreach and education about non-opioid alternatives for pain management to reduce the number of opioids being prescribed.

“Too many American families have been devastated by the opioid epidemic,” Curbelo continued. “With passage of today’s legislation we’re one step closer to saving more lives and giving our health care workers, educators, and first responders the tools to save the lives of more Americans suffering from the disease of addiction.”

The HOST Act of 2018, which
Curbelo introduced with Representative Annie Kuster (NH-2) earlier this year, will require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop an evidence-based best practices toolkit for hospitals to reduce opioid misuse. The bill will provide comprehensive and consistent resources for the screening of opioid-use disorder, as well as education for providers and beneficiaries regarding associated risks and evidence-based pain management alternatives.

The REACH OUT Act introduced by Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-8) and co-sponsored by Curbelo will direct the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to work with eligible entities, including Quality Improvement Organizations, to engage in outreach with prescribers identified as clinical outliers to share best practices following evaluation of their prescribing behavior.
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