For more complete information on issues and pending legislation visit the AOA Washington Office website .
The measures include expanding access to buprenorphine, a proposal to eliminate any potential financial incentive for doctors to prescribe opioids based on patient experience survey questions, and a requirement for Indian Health Service prescribers and pharmacists to check state Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) databases before prescribing or dispensing opioids for pain. In addition, the department is launching more than a dozen new scientific studies on opioid misuse and pain treatment and soliciting feedback to improve and expand prescriber education and training programs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has finalized its guidance for physicians prescribing opioids to adults for chronic pain in outpatient settings. The voluntary guidelines are somewhat more stringent than those developed by the Ohio Governor’s Cabinet Opioid Action Team.
The osteopathic profession was strongly represented in the meeting with representatives from AOA, ACOFP, American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians (ACOEP), American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM), American College of Osteopathic Surgeons (ACOS), and American College of Osteopathic Internists (ACOI).
Discussion focused on the importance of improving both physical and mental health for men across the age spectrum, using more coordinated, innovative, and personal outreach to get men more engaged in their own health – concepts that are fundamental parts of the osteopathic approach.
The American Osteopathic Association and four specialty affiliates have submitted comments regarding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's draft Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.
FAQ Helps Physicians Understand Rule
On November 9, 2007, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published its Red Flag rule concerning identity theft. Under the rule, financial institutions and creditors are required to develop and implement a written identity theft program to identify, detect, and respond to possible risks of identity theft relevant to them.
The OOA has been meeting with elected state and federal officials to discuss health care reform.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has released its proposed rule on electronic prescriptions for controlled substances with comments due on September 25. It is intended to be consistent with the Medicare Part D e-prescribing regulations. The focus is on standards to provide safeguards against the diversion of controlled substances.
On June 30th, the President signed into law the temporary extension of the Higher Education Act of 1965. The articles included in the act have been extended through July 31st. This extension marks the second short-term extension this year. The fate of the act remains uncertain; however, it is highly unlikely the legislation will not continue to be reauthorized.
As part of the 2009 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) made proposals concerning the Physicians Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI). CMS is required by law to use a rulemaking process to select quality measures for the 2009 PQRI, as well as establish for 2009 alternative reporting criteria and alternative reporting periods for reporting of measures groups and for registry-based reporting.
On June 25th the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health approved the "Protecting Records, Optimizing Treatment, and Easing Communication through Healthcare Technology Act of 2008" (H.R. 6357). H.R. 6357 was originally introduced by Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-MI) and Ranking Member Joe Barton (R-TX). The bipartisan bill is a combination of elements from legislation previously introduced by various Representatives in the 109th and 110th Congresses. Prior to introduction of the final bill, Chairman Dingell held a hearing that provided stakeholder groups with the opportunity to voice feedback on the legislation.
From August 11th through September 5th, Members of Congress will be returning to their districts from Washington for the August recess. This is an excellent opportunity to meet your elected representatives face-to-face and to develop a constituent relationship.
In June, the ONC Coordinated Health Information Technology Strategic Plan was released. The plan brings together all federal health information technology (HIT) efforts and will guide federal HIT advancement for the next five years.
Election Day 2008 is less than four months away, and campaigns are gearing up for the fall campaign season. While most focus will be on the Presidential election, there are also thirty-five races in the U.S. Senate, as well as all 435 seats of the House of Representatives.
Faced with the threat of pending legislation, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Michael Leavitt announced the voluntary delay of 2 controversial Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rules affecting Medicaid support for graduate medical education (GME) and public hospitals including a regulation that would prohibit federal Medicaid funding for the costs of medical interns and residents.
The new federal law requires all non-electronic prescriptions for Medicaid patients to be written on tamper-resistant pads.