The President’s Commission on Combating Addiction and the Opioid Crisis issued an interim report on Monday. The commission’s “first and urgent recommendation” calls on the president to declare a national emergency in order to free up federal funds to combat the crisis. Other recommendations include:

  • Increasing treatment capacity by granting waiver approvals for all 50 states to eliminate barriers to treatment resulting from the Institutes for Mental Diseases (IMD) exclusion within Medicaid
  • Mandating prescriber education initiatives to enhance prevention efforts including mandating medical education training in opioid prescribing and risks
  • Establishing and funding a federal incentive to enhance access to Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) and requiring that all modes of MAT are offered at every licensed MAT facility
  • Providing model legislation for states to allow naloxone dispensing via standing orders and equipping all law enforcement officers with naloxone
  • Prioritizing funding to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to develop fentanyl detection sensors and disseminate them to federal, state and local agencies
  • Providing federal funding and supporting to states to enhance data sharing among state prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs)
  • Implementing regulations to better align patient privacy laws specific to addiction with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Establishing a compliance tool to ensure that health plans cannot impose less favorable benefits for mental health and substance use diagnoses versus physical health diagnoses, consistent with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA)

As part of our collective federal policy advocacy, the Alliance is building a bank of stories from organizations that have opioid addiction and prevention strategies, programs, and public policy efforts or are working directly with children affected by this crisis.

If you are working to prevent and/or address opioid addiction and abuse in your community or are supporting the children impacted by this crisis, let us know by emailing Carla Plaza at the Alliance or posting to this discussion on myAlliance.

View more public policy news  and sign up for the weekly Alliance Policy Radar online.