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Washington, DC — Today, Congressman Jim Renacci (R-OH) spoke on the House floor in support of H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, which passed the House of Representatives and now will go to the President for his signature.

“I am glad to see the House pass the SUPPORT for Communities and Patients Act. This legislation, which is the work of numerous Members and contains a number of bipartisan bills, will deliver much-needed resources to combat the opioid epidemic. This epidemic has already taken too many lives in Ohio, and it continues to worsen with a 20% increase in the number of fatal drug overdoses in the last year. I look forward to the President signing this bill into law.”

Read the Congressman’s floor speech below:

“The opioid epidemic has hit my home state of Ohio particularly hard, with thousands of Ohioans dying from drug overdoses every year.

This bill would make it easier for Medicare Advantage, Part D drug plans, and HHS to combat fraud, waste, and abuse and prevent the overprescribing of opioids to vulnerable seniors. I would like to thank members of the conference committee, as well as their staff, for including my bill in this package and for their hard work to pass legislation to address the opioid epidemic.”

Renacci championed the following provisions, which were ultimately included in H.R. 6:

  • H.R. 5715, Strengthening Partnerships to Prevent Opioid Abuse Act – Introduced by Rep. Renacci with Reps. Terri Sewell (D-AL), Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and Scott Peters (D-CA), this legislation requires CMS to establish a secure web portal that allows for secure communication between MA organizations, Part D plans, and CMS concerning substantiated fraud, waste, and abuse. 

  • H.R. 5685, Medicare Opioid Safety Education Act – Introduced by Rep. Renacci with Reps. John Faso (R-NY) and Peter Welch (D-VT), this legislation requires the annual Medicare and You Handbook for beneficiaries to include educational resources on opioid use and pain management.

  • H.R. 3528, Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act – Requires physicians and other practitioners prescribe Part D-covered controlled substances electronically in order to prevent diversion of prescription opioids.

  • H.R. 5041, Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act – Authorizes qualified hospice employees to dispose of unused prescribed controlled substances after a patient has passed away in order to prevent diversion.

  • H.R. 4841, Standardizing Electronic Prior Authorization for Safe Prescribing Act – Requires electronic prior authorization for Part D-covered drugs to reduce diversion and inappropriate prescribing.

  • H.R. 5773, Preventing Addiction for Susceptible Seniors Act – Requires beneficiaries at risk for prescription drug abuse to be eligible for Part D plan’s Medication Therapy Management programs and requires HHS to notify prescribers annually if they have been identified as an outlying prescriber of opioids compared to others in their geographic area and specialty.

  • H.R. 5723, Expanding Oversight of Opioid Prescribing and Payment Act – Requires the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission to submit a report to Congress on how Medicare pays for opioid vs. non-opioid pain management treatments and recommendations for how to address any identified adverse incentives.

Watch the full floor speech here.

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The Renacci Report

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