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Kaine cosponsors legislation to address opioid epidemic

(AP)
Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 11:46 AM EST
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WASHINGTON, DC (WDBJ/Kaine’s Office News Release) - US Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, is co-sponsoring legislation to help address “barriers to non-opioid pain management for those enrolled in Medicare and stem the opioid epidemic across the nation,” according to his office.

The Non-Opioids Prevent Addiction in the Nation (NOPAIN) Act was first introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Joe Manchin (D-WV).

“We must do more to address the opioid epidemic that has devastated far too many communities across the Commonwealth,” said Senator Kaine. “I’m proud to support this bipartisan legislation, which takes commonsense steps toward fighting this public health crisis by encouraging health providers to prescribe alternatives to opioids for pain management for Medicare patients.”

Under current law, according to Kaine, hospitals receive the same payment from Medicare regardless of whether a physician prescribes an opioid or uses a non-opioid for post-surgical pain. As a result, hospitals rely on opioids, which are typically dispensed by a pharmacy after discharge at little or no cost to the hospital. The NOPAIN Act would change this policy by directing CMS to provide separate Medicare reimbursement for non-opioid treatments used to manage post-surgical pain in both the hospital outpatient department and the ambulatory surgery center settings.

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