On Wednesday, May 9th, the House Energy & Commerce Committee held a markup focused on bills to address the national opioid crisis. At the markup, which follows a series of hearings that examined more than 65 pieces of legislation, the Committee voted to favorably report 25 opioid-related bills out of committee. A second markup is expected to be held on May 17th. Among the many bills considered were two officially endorsed by HIMSS - the Standardizing Electronic Prior Authorization for Safe Prescribing Act (H.R. 4841), which would require electronic prior authorization under Medicare part D, and the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act (H.R. 3528), which would require e-prescribing of controlled substances under Medicare part D. A third bill supported by HIMSS, the Access to Telehealth Services for Opioid Use Disorders Act (H.R. 5603), was scheduled to be reviewed but will now likely be part of next week’s markup.
The 25 bills advanced by the committee will now head to the full House of Representatives for consideration. There is no timetable for when the House is expected to take up these bills, however, Energy & Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) has indicated that he hopes for floor action by Memorial Day.