Blackburn Joins Bill to Help Prevent Opioid Addiction

September 25, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) is cosponsoring legislation to decrease barriers to non-opioid pain management for those enrolled in Medicare. Senators Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Doug Jones (D-Ala.) introduced the Non-Opioids Prevent Addiction in the Nation (NOPAIN) Act in December.

“Combatting the opioid epidemic requires a joint effort from federal, state, and local officials, and multiple lines of attack. The NOPAIN Act would incentivize the use of non-opioid therapies in outpatient surgical settings so that Medicare patients have access to pain management without the risk of opioid addiction,” said Senator Blackburn. “Seniors and their doctors want to be able to adequately manage pain, without the risk of opioid addiction. This legislation makes that easier.”

Under current law, hospitals receive the same payment from Medicare regardless of whether a physician prescribes an opioid or a non-opioid. The NOPAIN Act would change this policy by directing CMS to provide separate Medicare reimbursement for non-opioid treatments used to manage pain in both the hospital outpatient department and the ambulatory surgery center settings. This incentive will help to prevent future opioid addiction.

Bill text can be found here.