By Blair Childs, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Premier Inc.
Premier and its members are proud to endorse the SUPPORT for Patients Communities Act passed by the Senate and sent to the President for signature. While this legislation will go far to mitigate and treat opioid addiction throughout the healthcare community, we are disappointed that the Senate failed to seize this moment in time and pass reforms that would allow doctors, nurses, and other caregivers access to substance use history in medical records.
Premier and 167 patient, healthcare provider, physician, addiction treatment, municipal and other organizations, as well as the nation’s governors, state Medicaid directors and HHS have passionately appealed for this reform for the better part of two years. In the House, 357 members of Congress, including every physician elected, voted for this essential open access provision with H.R. 6082, the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act. Including this reform in the SUPPORT package would have improved the healthcare community’s ability to coordinate care for patients suffering from substance use disorders safely and discretely, caring for them under HIPAA privacy protections that protect patients with all manner of confidential medical conditions.
Since this provision was not included in the final legislative package, we will continue to urge lawmakers to take up and hold a separate vote on H.R. 6082. This bill is vital to ensure we do not leave caregivers out of the loop on preventing substance use addiction, overdose and potential deaths.
About Premier, Inc.
Premier Inc. (NASDAQ: PINC) is a leading healthcare improvement company, uniting an alliance of more than 4,000 U.S. hospitals and health systems and approximately 165,000 other providers and organizations to transform healthcare. With integrated data and analytics, collaboratives, supply chain solutions, and consulting and other services, Premier enables better care and outcomes at a lower cost. Premier plays a critical role in the rapidly evolving healthcare industry, collaborating with members to co-develop long-term innovations that reinvent and improve the way care is delivered to patients nationwide. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Premier is passionate about transforming American healthcare. Please visit Premier’s news and investor sites on www.premierinc.com; as well as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and Premier’s blog for more information about the company.