On Oct. 24, 2018, the Substance Use–Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6) was signed into law. The SUPPORT Act contains Medicare and Medicaid program enhancements and other changes, new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements, and other public health efforts to help combat the opioid epidemic, such as:
- Authorizing electronic prescribing of controlled substances under Medicare,
- Expanding the ability for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans to address suspected pharmacy fraud,
- Increasing state opportunities to offer in-patient mental health coverage for adult Medicaid beneficiaries,
- Allowing for expedited FDA review of new, non-addictive drugs for pain treatment, and
- Making funding available for programs that will prevent and treat opioid addiction.
As federal agencies and states put this law into action, additional regulatory policies will be issued by agencies responsible for implementing provisions of the new law.
BCBSMT is working with key state agencies, policymakers, community leaders and partners to explore both legislative and non-legislative policy and process changes improve the way we prevent and treat substance abuse in Montana.
In 2016, the Montana Legislature established the Resolve Montana - End Prescription Drug Abuse and Know Your Dose programs to combat prescription drug abuse and promote responsible medication use, build awareness of the public health crisis and provide resources for health care providers, patients dealing with chronic non-cancer pain, and the general public.
Additionally, the Montana Attorney General launched Aid Montana, a campaign to address the impact of drugs and substance abuse, including opioid abuse. The initiative will serve as a starting point to map reforms to state programs and determine recommendations for the 2019 legislature.
Through the Montana Prescription Drug Registry (MPDR), prescribers, pharmacists and law enforcement can monitor controlled substances dispensed in the state or delivered to a Montana address from outside the state. Pharmacies must report all Schedule II, III, IV and V controlled substance prescriptions to the MPDR at least weekly and no later than eight days after the prescription was dispensed.