MACo: Allow Flexibility for Opioid Addiction Medication Prescribers

MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson testified to amend legislation of House Bill 1278, “Public Health – Health Care Facilities and Health Care Systems – Availability of Buprenorphine Prescribers” so that it would expand patient access to opioid addiction medications without putting onerous requirements on the providers and healthcare facilities.

MACo’s testimony states,

As originally introduced, HB 1278 set a burdensome and difficult to meet mandate on certain health care facilities, including local health departments, to have at least one buprenorphine provider available for every 100 patients served.

As amended, HB 1278 would require certain health care facilities to ensure their patients have access to the services of healthcare providers that are trained and authorized to prescribe opioid addiction medications, including buprenorphine-containing formulas. To comply with this directive, the facilities have the flexibility to directly employ, contract with, or refer to the appropriate providers. The facilities would not have to meet a threshold of one provider for 100 patients.

These amendments ensure that patients could have access to a broader range of providers and opioid addiction medications, not just buprenorphine.

HB 1278 was heard by the House Health and Government Operations Committee on March 7, 2017.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2017 Legislative Session here.