Kaptur: Passage of Bipartisan Opioids Package

September 28, 2018
Press Release
Expanded Treatment Options, Workforce Recovery Included in Bill

Washington, DC - Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) and her colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives voted 393-8 to pass the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, a bipartisan package of opioid-related provisions.


“While I am pleased to see bipartisan action to advance the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act to the president, gaps remain in federal action that leave me greatly troubled for the Ohioans suffering from this crisis every day,” said Ms. Kaptur. “Provisions in this bill will expand treatment options and care delivery under Medicaid, strengthen enforcement against bad actors in the treatment and pharmaceutical community, protect our communities against illicit fentanyl, and provide workforce recovery opportunities with job training and treatment services.”


“More, however, needs to be done to provide sustained funding for treatment, recovery, and supportive services, which this bill does not fully address. I am hopeful that this legislation can serve as another down-payment towards comprehensive relief the nation and Ohio desperately seek.”


The opioids package includes an important provision that temporarily repeals the Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMD) exclusion for certain Medicaid beneficiaries with substance use disorders (SUDs). Medicaid would pay for up to 30 total days of care in an IMD during a 12-month period for eligible beneficiaries aged 21 to 64 with a SUD. The bill also includes safeguards to ensure that states do not reduce the availability of community-based care. This is commonly referred to as the “16-bed limit,” which had hampered the efforts of communities to treat the growing number of people who needed access to treatment facilities.


The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act focuses on the recovery of those with substance use disorders (SUDs) and authorizes the Department of Labor to provide coordinated job training and treatment services to individuals in affected communities with Opioid Use Disorders (OUDs) or SUDs and to support the treatment workforce in significantly impacted areas. The bill also provides the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with new authority to cease distribution or recall controlled substances that may endanger patients and improves the FDA’s capacity to inspect and respond to illegal controlled substances. The legislation also reauthorizes the Office of National Drug Control Policy through 2023 and enacts important reforms to better coordinate an effective response to the opioid crisis.