The United States Senate passes The Opioid Crisis Response Act

Patient engagement solutions, telehealth software and other technologies are immensely contributing to healthcare. Now, the United States Senate has passed The Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 in a rare unanimous vote. It’s a bill that comprises a wide range of proposals drawn from five Senate committees and certainly has considerable implications for the use and funding of health IT.

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky called the bill- drawn up using input from more than 70 senators and passed by 99-1 vote; a “landmark” piece of legislation aimed at combating the nationwide opioid epidemic on various fronts.

This legislation comes at a time when the nation is battling with opioid crisis as policymakers and technology vendors are working hard to combat the issue. Hospitals are piloting apps to find blindspots in prescription drug monitoring programs and using mobile based technologies to write fewer prescriptions.

It includes funding to stop the flow of illegal opioids from other countries and support local programs for prevention, treatment and recovery. The bill also seeks to encourage research and development of new non-addictive painkillers and stem “doctor shopping” by pushing prescription drug monitoring programs.