RI Senate committee approves several bills combating the opioid crisis

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Senate Health and Human Services Committee gave its approval to a host of legislation aimed at addressing the opioid overdose crisis in the state.

“Opioid addiction and overdoses cross all the lines of age, socio-economic status and race. We need to address this from every angle if we are going to stop the growth of the problem,” said Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence), who sponsored several of the bills.

The committee approved the following bills:

  • ensuring that those who are treated at hospitals, clinics and urgent care facilities with a substance-abuse disorder receive the follow-up care they need to address their addiction.
  • all health insurance providers required to provide prescription coverage to cover overdose preventive medicine.
  • health practitioners and health plan coverage required to support clinical practices fostering use of abuse-deterrent opioid analgesic drug product formulations approved by the FDA.
  • the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals to certify recovery housing facilities and programs for residential substance abuse treatment.
  • students who are diagnosed with substance use disorder or dependency can be referred to a Rhode Island recovery high school by a licensed clinician.
  • establish prescribing limits for addictive pain medication when prescribed for acute pain.
  • allowing for electronic system data transmission of Schedule V prescriptions.
  • the authorization of any vendor, agent, contractor or designee who operates an EMR or clinical management system to access the prescription drug monitoring program.

The bills will now be forwarded to the Senate for approval.

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