The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act Clears Congress, Awaits Presidential Signature

October 10, 2018 | Strategic Insights for Health System


The U.S. Senate passed the final edits to the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act in a 98 to 1 vote on October 3, 2018, following a 393 to 8 passing vote in the House of Representatives the previous week. The legislation package includes dozens of policies and programs that hope to better address the opioid crisis, such as allowing states to receive federal Medicaid funding for providing services to adults age 21 to 64 for substance use disorder (SUD) treatments by matching funds for up to 30 days per year. In addition, the legislation premiers a demonstration program that promotes opioid alternatives in emergency departments. Other provisions included in the legislation address health insurance for former foster care youth; benefits related to maternal and infant health; access to telehealth and medication-assisted treatment; Children's Health Insurance Program mental health and SUD benefits uniformity; care coordination for patients who have had a drug overdose; and coordination of prescription drug monitoring programs.

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