On Oct. 24, 2018, the Substance Use–Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6) was signed into law. The SUPPORT Act contains Medicare and Medicaid program enhancements and other changes, new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements, and other public health efforts to help combat the opioid epidemic, such as:
- Authorizing electronic prescribing of controlled substances under Medicare,
- Expanding the ability for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans to address suspected pharmacy fraud,
- Increasing state opportunities to offer in-patient mental health coverage for adult Medicaid beneficiaries,
- Allowing for expedited FDA review of new, non-addictive drugs for pain treatment, and
- Making funding available for programs that will prevent and treat opioid addiction.
As federal agencies and states put this law into action, additional regulatory policies will be issued by agencies responsible for implementing provisions of the new law.
BCBSOK continues to work with policymakers at the state and local level to find solutions to the opioid crisis as well as advocate on behalf of our members throughout Oklahoma suffering from opioid use disorder.
Last year, Oklahoma received funding through the 21st Century Cures Act to focus on health surveillance, responsible pain management, improving access to treatment services, targeting availability and distribution of overdose-reversing drugs, and supporting research.
Additionally, Oklahoma was the recipient of a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to expand access to medication-assisted treatment services for people with opioid use disorder and awarded CDC funding for Prevention for States program/Data Driven Prevention Initiative and Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance (ESOOS).
The Oklahoma Prescription Monitoring Program requires prescribers to perform initial database check for new patients prior to prescribing one of the following: opiates, synthetic opiates, semi-synthetic opiates, benzodiazepine, or carisoprodol (exclusions for Hospice or end-of-life, or patients residing in nursing facility). Dispensers must submit prescription dispensing information within 5 minutes of dispensing a scheduled narcotic.