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.
BCBSNM continues to work with policymakers at the state and local level to find solutions to the opioid crisis as well as advocate on behalf of our members throughout New Mexico suffering from opioid use disorder.
Last year, New Mexico was awarded CDC funding for prevention for states program – a data driven prevention initiative and enhanced state opioid overdose surveillance. Additionally, the New Mexico Legislative Health and Human Services Committee (LHHS) conducted a day-long Opioid Summit, which included testimony regarding the impact of opioid addiction and round table discussions, and resulted in several recommendations, including: mandating checks on all opioid prescriptions, and regulation of pharmaceuticals.
The New Mexico Prescription Monitoring Program requires dispensers to report within one (1) business day of a prescription being filled, and practitioner are required to check the PMP database when prescribing opioids for the first time, or for a period greater than four days, or if there has been a gap in prescribing the controlled substance from 30 days or more.