CMS Issues Guidance to States on Using Health Information and Technology to Fight the Opioid Epidemic

On June 11, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a letter to State Medicaid Directors to guide states on the funding mechanisms of health information technology solutions.  Specifically, this letter outlined how telemedicine and prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) can be used to combat the ongoing opioid crisis.  This letter effectively sets up expanded use of Medicaid IT Architecture (MITA), which gives states a 90% match of funds to develop HIT projects, as well as a 75% match to maintain these projects.  Similarly, the HITECH act allows for a 90% enhanced funding match for HIT projects revolving around promotion of state-run health information exchanges (HIEs) and the implementation of electronic health records in these HIEs. 

HIMSS applauds CMS’ commitment to utilizing 21st century healthcare solutions including telehealth and PDMPs to address the opioid crisis. And in support of national and state efforts, HIMSS is holding a three part webinar series on how health information and technology is leveraged to address the opioid crisis and steps forward at the state and federal levels. The next webinar will be held Monday, July 30, 2018 from 1:00 – 2:00pm EDT and includes speakers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and Washington State Department of Health.  Please contact policy@himss.org if you are interested in participating.