WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) today announced that the Subcommittee will hold a hearing entitled “The Opioid Crisis: Removing Barriers to Prevent and Treat Opioid Abuse and Dependence in Medicare” on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 3:00 PM in room 1100 of the Longworth House Office Building. At the second in a series of hearings focused on the opioid crisis, Members will discuss ways to break down barriers in our healthcare system that stand in the way of preventing and treating opioid abuse and dependence in the Medicare program. The hearing will look at the use of data analytics to identify at-risk beneficiaries, as well as overprescribing and inappropriate pharmacy dispensing, and examine possible legislative solutions to prevent more Medicare beneficiaries from being harmed by opioid abuse and addiction.
Upon announcing the hearing, Chairman Roskam said:
“Last July, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General found that 90,000 seniors and people with disabilities are at serious risk of being overprescribed. In Illinois, more people died from an opioid drug overdose (due to heroin and prescription opioid pain relievers) in 2014 than from homicide or motor vehicle accidents.
“We’re committed to protecting Americans from this growing epidemic on all fronts – including taking action before opioids are even prescribed. Next week’s hearing is an opportunity to learn more about how the Federal government can make improvements to detection, education, and prevention – in addition to better treatment options – in the Medicare program to reverse the trend of increased deaths due to prescription opioid overdoses. I look forward to examining innovative approaches and best practices currently being used by States and the private sector that can help Medicare beneficiaries at risk of opioid abuse get the treatment they need without the fatal consequences of opioid abuse and addiction.”