Faso applauds passage of opioid bill to help seniors
WASHINGTOND.C. » U.S. Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, on Wednesday applauded the passage of H.R. 5685, the Medicare Opioid Safety Education Act of 2018 by voice vote.
This bill aims to improve efforts to educate seniors on alternatives to traditional opioid pain medication through the Medicare Part D program.
Seniors are given an informational booklet entitled “Medicare & You” prior to becoming Medicare- eligible that details the services available to them upon opening of enrollment. Currently, the word “opioid” appears only once in the booklet. H.R. 5685 would substantially improve opioid education in the booklet by adding available opioid alternatives and additional educational information.
“Nearly one in three seniors on Medicare Part Dwere prescribed an opioid during 2016. That statistic underlines just how prev- alent the use of opioid pain killers is among seniors, who often are dealing with issues stemming from chronic pain,” said Faso in a release. “One of the best ways to combat the opioid crisis is to better educate the public on these risks, and to educate them on alternatives. I am glad this common-sense legislation has passed the House and will be included in a large package of opioid bills being sent to the Senate.”
H.R. 5685 is one of over two dozen bills that the House will vote on this week to fight the opioid crisis.
Representatives Jim Renacci, R- OH, and Peter Welch, D-VT, served as original cosponsors on the legislation. Rep. Faso introduced H.R. 5685 on May 7.
A 2017 HHS study indicated that one-third of all Part D beneficiaries were prescribed some kind of opioid in 2016. Close to 100,000 beneficiaries were deemed to be at serious risk due to “extreme” prescription amounts and doctor shopping.