Press Releases

Kuster Introduces Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation To Prevent Fatal Overdoses, Support Opioid Victims

Washington, D.C. – This week, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), alongside Reps. David Trone (D-MD) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), reintroduced the IMPROVE Addiction Care Act to provide greater assistance to individuals struggling with substance use disorder. U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) joined as the Senate leads for this bill.

This bipartisan, bicameral legislation would require state Medicaid programs to use jointly-funded Drug Utilization Review programs to help connect patients to treatment services and boost safeguards for those on Medicaid who experienced a non-fatal, opioid-related overdose. The bill would also close a dangerous information gap that currently keeps prescribers from being informed about patients who overdose.

“The overprescription of opioids to Medicaid beneficiaries – including children – has exacerbated the substance use disorder epidemic and made this crisis even more deadly,” said Kuster, founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force. “We must take concrete steps to save lives. I am proud to help reintroduce this bipartisan legislation to ensure Medicaid providers understand their patient’s history with opioids and expand access to treatment and recovery resources.”

The IMPROVE Addiction Care Act would:

  • Alert: Ensure that doctors are made aware if their Medicaid-enrolled patient has suffered a previous nonfatal overdose and alert the prescriber when one of their patients suffers a fatal overdose.
  • Treat: Connect recent opioid overdose survivors who receive Medicaid benefits with treatment opportunities.
  • Educate: Perform ongoing reviews and offer provider education.

To learn more about the IMPROVE Addiction Care Act, please click here.

To read the full text of the IMPROVE Addiction Care Act, please click here