By Blair Childs, senior vice president, public affairs, Premier
We commend House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders, Chairmen Michael Burgess, Greg Walden (R-OR) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), for focusing on the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act (H.R. 3545) during today’s hearing. This legislation is essential to remove one of the main barriers to coordinating care and ensuring better outcomes for those struggling with substance use disorders.
Witnesses and lawmakers shared their personal experiences with their families’ opioid overdose events that could have been prevented had their doctors been aware of prior substance use. Standing between their family members and caregivers is an antiquated law from the ‘70’s that Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) accurately deemed a “life-threatening fire wall.” If we are to turn the tide on opioid addiction toward prevention, we must enact H.R. 3545 to strengthen current privacy protections for patients and enforce policy that ensures against any discrimination, dispelling arguments advanced by those who support continuing the existing regulations.
Premier urges the Committee to approve and Congress to pass this legislation swiftly in order to remove this information barrier to coordinated, responsible care.
— Blair Childs, senior vice president, public affairs, Premier Inc.