Washington, D.C. – Following passage in Congress of the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, H.R. 6), U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that the legislation includes a number of his legislative priorities, including measures that increase response resources for states and several provisions to protect infants, children and seniors caught up in the epidemic. This legislation will now head to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
“Congress has taken a strong step forward in passing this legislation that will work to strengthen states’ resources in the ongoing fight against the opioid crisis,” said Senator Casey. “I was proud to work across the aisle to ensure that a number of my priorities were included in this bill, including vital supports to protect mothers and infants. I urge the President to sign this bill quickly to ensure that states have the resources they need to continue to combat this epidemic.”
Casey-led Provisions Include:
- Section 1002, Health Insurance for Former Foster Youth: Requires states to allow all former foster youth (FFY) who age out of the foster care system to keep their health insurance coverage through Medicaid until they turn 26. Although a provision in the Affordable Care Act already allows FFY to do this, the law has been implemented in a way that allows states to deny this coverage to FFY who aged out in a different state.
- Sec. 7065, Plans of Safe Care: Provides support for states to collaborate on and improve plans of safe care for substance-exposed infants, to ensure every infant affected by substance abuse is sent home with the appropriate support.
- Sec. 7062 and Sec. 7063, Protecting Moms and Infants: Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to issue and periodically update a report regarding the implementation of the recommendations in the strategy relating to prenatal opioid use, including neonatal abstinence syndrome, developed pursuant to the Protecting Our Infants Act of 2015. Also reauthorizes the Residential Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women grant program.
- Sec. 1014, MACPAC study and report on medication assisted treatment utilization controls under Medicaid programs: Directs the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) to conduct a study on utilization management controls applied to medication-assisted treatment options in both fee-for-service and managed Medicaid programs.
- Sec. 2005, Medicare coverage of certain services furnished by opioid treatment programs: Provides Medicare coverage for certain services provided by opioid treatment programs, including medications, counseling and therapy. This includes coverage for methadone (an evidenced-based medication that treats opioid misuse) and draws, in part, from Casey’s bipartisan bill to provide Medicare coverage for methadone as well as outpatient treatment needs highlighted in a recent Senate Aging Committee hearing held by the Senator.