NAHC Applauds Passage of Key Legislation to Curb Opioid Epidemic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Thomas Threlkeld
202-547-7424/ tom@nahc.org

NAHC Applauds Passage of Key Legislation to Curb Opioid Epidemic

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) commends the United States Senate for passing The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, a bipartisan bill which contains a wide array of initiatives to address America’s overwhelming opioid crisis. The bill now heads to President Donald J. Trump for his signature.

Among the many provisions in the final package is one that authorizes hospice personnel to dispose of patients’ unused controlled substances upon death of the patient, and certain other circumstances. This hospice “disposal” language is the result of over 18 months of patient and sustained advocacy by NAHC, including discussions with key Committees in Congress, state home care and hospice associations, and other hospice stakeholders.

“We applaud House and Senate Members’ interest in providing an avenue by which hospices may help to reduce diversion of what can be very dangerous medications when used by individuals for whom they were never intended or prescribed,” said NAHC President William A. Dombi, upon passage of the legislation. “At the same time, we are grateful that throughout the process these same Members maintained a sensitive ear regarding the special circumstances under which hospices operate in the home, and the need to ensure that any hospice disposal legislation provides flexibility, does not create unnecessary regulatory hoops for hospices to jump through, and does not put hospice personnel at risk.  We believe that this legislation achieves these goals.”

As this legislation becomes statute, as we expect, NAHC is committed to working with the Drug Enforcement Administration and others to secure any additional clarification that may be required to ensure the hospice community has all the necessary guidance to effectively implement this new authority.

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About the National Association for Home Care & Hospice

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is the voice of home care and hospice.  NAHC represents the nation’s 33,000 home care and hospice providers, along with the more than two million nurses, therapists, and aides they employ.  These caregivers provide vital services to Americans who are aged, disabled, and ill.  Some 12 million patients depend on home care and hospice providers, who depend on NAHC for the best in advocacy, education, and information.  NAHC is a nonprofit organization that helps its members maintain the highest standards of care.  To learn more about NAHC, visit nahc.org.