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Stemming opioid epidemic

The Non-Opioids Prevent Addiction in the Nation Act would help break down barriers to non-opioid pain management for those enrolled in Medicare

U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, Terri Sewell, David McKinley and Ann Kuster introduced H.R. 3259, the Non-Opioids Prevent Addiction in the Nation Act. This legislation would help break down barriers to non-opioid pain management for those enrolled in Medicare, thereby helping stem the country’s opioid epidemic.

Specifically, the bill would address payment disincentives for practitioners to prescribe non-opioid treatment alternatives in surgical settings by requiring the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to place non-opioid treatments on par with other separately paid drugs and devices in Medicare Part B.

“The substance and opioid use disorder crises have affected countless families and communities across the United States,” Fitzpatrick said. “I am proud to cosponsor the bipartisan NOPAIN Act, which would limit unnecessary exposure to opioids by ensuring access to non-addictive therapy alternatives for Americans who have undergone outpatient surgical procedures. Now, more than ever, Americans should have access to medical treatment without fear of developing a substance use disorder as a result.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids are the main driver of drug overdose deaths in the United States. The CDC estimates that the economic costs associated with prescription opioid misuse exceed $78.5 billion annually. These costs include those associated with healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment and the judicial system.

Research shows that patients receiving an opioid prescription after short-stay surgeries have a 44% increased risk of opioid use.

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