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On October 24, 2018, President Trump signed into law the bipartisan SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6 or the “Act”), which aims to combat opioid abuse with increased attention to treatment. The wide-reaching compromise legislation combines elements from a number of opioid bills, addressing issues from access to treatment and prevention programs to expanded law enforcement efforts to curtail drug trafficking. The Act, however, does omit several items that have been part of the national dialogue on opioid abuse. For example, it does not include amendments to 42 U.S.C. § 290dd-2 and the associated regulation at 42 C.F.R. Part 2 (“Part 2”) that would align the Part 2 substance use treatment privacy law with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) privacy rules to better facilitate the sharing of a patient’s substance use disorder information among providers. In addition, the Act does not provide for a significant increase in spending for the opioid crisis. Read More ›

Beginning October 2, 2018, California health care professionals authorized to prescribe, order, administer or furnish controlled substances must consult the state’s prescription drug monitoring database (the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System, or CURES) prior to prescribing, ordering, administering or furnishing Schedule II-IV controlled substances, unless an exemption applies.[1]  The duty to consult takes effect almost two years after the law was initially enacted, and six months after the California Department of Justice (DOJ) certified CURES as ready for statewide use. Read More ›

Massachusetts senators recently proposed a health care reform bill intended to reform the Commonwealth's health care system by controlling costs while improving outcomes. Read More ›

In recent months, we have learned of increasingly aggressive audit activity by Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). As part of these audits, at least one PBM has suspended payments pending the results of the audit, which may violate various legal and contractual obligations of the PBM.  Responding to the audits can be extremely burdensome and time consuming.  Many pharmacies have suffered from significant operational complications resulting from the complete suspension of payments while awaiting the results of an audit, which can take many months. Read More ›

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