Legislative Activity

House to Consider Bipartisan Public Health Legislation

This week, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced the consideration of two additional pieces of bipartisan health legislation. H.R. 1877, the Mental Health First Aid Act of 2016, introduced by Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), amends the Public Health Service Act to require the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to award grants to initiate and sustain mental health first aid training programs. Mental health first aid programs are public education programs that train parents, first responders, teachers, veterans, public safety officers, and others to accomplish safe de-escalation of crisis situations, recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness, and encourage referral to mental health services. H.R. 3537, Dangerous Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2016, introduced by Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), would place a number of synthetic drug compounds on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). This legislation is another step in combatting the nation’s drug abuse crisis through targeting manufacturers and distributors of synthetic drugs. The House of Representatives plans to pass the bills on Monday, now that they have been reported by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Ways and Means Committee to Hold Hearing on Health Care Fraud

Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) announced the House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight will hold a hearing on Wednesday, September 28, titled “Health Care Fraud Investigations.” The hearing will focus on how the federal government investigates and prosecutes fraud and improper payments in the Medicare program.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Wednesday, September 28: The House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight will hold a hearing titled “Health Care Fraud Investigations.”

Regulatory Activity

SAMHSA Final Rule on MAT for Opioid Use Disorders Reporting Requirements

On Friday, September 23, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released a final rule titled “Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Opioid Use Disorders Reporting Requirements.” This rule, developed to assist HHS in ensuring compliance with the final rule on MAT for opioid use disorders published in July, provides yearly reporting requirements for practitioners who can treat up to 275 patients with covered medications in an office-based setting. The rule will be published in the Federal Register on September 27, 2016, and it is effective 30 days thereafter.