Senate Passes Bill Providing $1 Billion for Prevention and Treatment of Opioid Addiction

Senate Passes Bill Providing $1 Billion for Prevention and Treatment of Opioid Addiction
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed the 21st Century Cures Act, which includes $1 billion in new funding to prevent and treat opioid addiction. The House approved the measure last week. The legislation includes funding for cancer research and mental health treatment, and will help the Food and Drug Administration speed up drug approvals. The measure also aims to improve the use of technology in medicine. The legislation passed 94 to 5, according to The New York Times . President Obama issued a statement praising passage of the bill. He said, “The Cures Act makes important investments that will save lives.” The Act includes several items that impact the prevention and treatment of substance abuse disorders. It will: Establish a new account, the account for the state response to the opioid abuse crisis, with $500 million per year for FY2017 and FY2018; funds are to be distributed as part of...
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Insurers Urged to Ensure Parity on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment

Insurers Urged to Ensure Parity on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment
Health insurance companies should do more to ensure parity for substance abuse and mental health treatment, members of a congressional subcommittee said at a recent hearing. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which requires larger employer-based insurance plans to cover psychiatric illnesses and substance use disorders in the same way they do illnesses, such as cancer and multiple sclerosis, was passed in 2008 and went into effect for most plans in 2010. “Parity, the simple idea that substance use disorder and heart disease should be treated the same, is the law,” said Representative Joseph Kennedy of Massachusetts at a hearing of the House Energy and Committee Subcommittee on Health. “But without proper enforcement and transparency, the law is little more than words. And that lack of enforcement and transparency has devastating consequences.” The Hill reports Kennedy is sponsoring legislation that would increase enforcement of existing parity regulations and...
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