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Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health submits solution options for opioid epidemic

U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam of the 6th Congressional District meets with the Northwest Herald Editorial Board on Feb. 22 at the newspaper's office in Crystal Lake.
U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam of the 6th Congressional District meets with the Northwest Herald Editorial Board on Feb. 22 at the newspaper's office in Crystal Lake.

This week, U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, and ranking member Sandy Levin, D-Mich., joined subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and ranking member Richard Neal, D-Mass., in releasing a white paper outlining solutions to combat the opioid epidemic.

Roskam has sought feedback from medical stakeholders and constituents that includes ideas lawmakers could consider to prevent and treat opioid abuse and dependence in the Medicare program. The committee placed a request for information, which received more than 100 submissions.

“The opioid crisis is ravaging our communities, including in my district,” Roskam said.

Recommendations from stakeholders in the white paper include:

• Improving treatment and reimbursements, including increasing access to medication-assisted treatment, use and access to non-opioid treatments of pain, as well as modernizing reimbursement and quality measures;

• Using tools to prevent overprescribing and abuse, including Part D lock-in, limiting prescriptions and better data tracking; and

• Enhancing screenings for opioid-use disorders, provider education and communication and patient education.

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