December 17, 2019

Manchin Introduces Legislation To Combat Opioid Epidemic With Non-Opioid Treatments

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today introduced the Non-Opioids Prevent Addiction in the Nation (NOPAIN) Act. This legislation will help Medicare recipients receive non-opioid pain treatments, which will help combat the opioid epidemic in West Virginia and the nation. Senator Manchin was joined by Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Doug Jones (D-AL), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Joni Ernst (R-IA).

“With the highest overdoses per capita in the nation, the opioid epidemic has ravaged West Virginia like no other state. Every family in our state has been affected by this horrible epidemic and we must continue to address this crisis so that our communities can begin to recover. That is why I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation with my colleagues to prioritize reimbursements for non-opioid treatments to ensure that non-opioid treatments are used whenever possible. Addressing this epidemic continues to be one of my top priorities and I will do everything possible to provide funding and other resources to combat this crisis,” said Senator Manchin.

Under current law, hospitals receive the same payment from Medicare regardless of whether a physician prescribes an opioid, or a non-opioid. As a result, hospitals rely on opioids, which are typically dispensed by a pharmacy after discharge at little or no cost to the hospital. The NOPAIN Act would change this policy by directing CMS to provide separate Medicare reimbursement for non-opioid treatments used to manage pain in both the hospital outpatient department (HOPD) and the ambulatory surgery center (ASC) settings.