The 2018 House-Senate Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders Interim Study Committee met in July, August and September to continue their work to address the opioid epidemic in Colorado. On Aug. 22 and Sept. 24, the bipartisan legislative group heard testimony from physicians, including that of Colorado Medical Society liaison Donald Stader III, MD.
Stader, a practicing emergency medicine specialist, testifying specifically on draft legislation under consideration by the Interim Study Committee, emphasized that the physicians of Colorado stand with the members of the committee and are committed to collaborate in sustained, systematic efforts to reverse the opioid epidemic. He presented recommendations that the CMS Prescription Drug Abuse Committee developed for the legislators' consideration for possible next steps to address the opioid crisis:
- Increase access to care and decreasing use of opioids using multi-modal approaches and alternatives to opioids;
- Ensure that insurance coverage works for opioid addicted patients; and
- Bolster the clinical workforce that operates as a team to care for patients and families experiencing substance use disorder (SUD).
He also shared CMS concerns about mandating e-prescribing of controlled substances, mandating opioid-related CME as a condition of licensure, and extending the three-year timeframe on prescription fill limits and PDMP checks passed into law this year, all under consideration by the interim study committee. This portion of his testimony also included support for several of the draft bills under consideration.
Finally, Stader gave an update on the work physicians are doing in close collaboration with the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention to help develop and drive best practices across specialties. Thanks to a grant from the consortium, on Oct. 6, CMS is gathering physicians from different specialties and practice settings from across the state in the first in a series of convenings to develop future strategies for physicians including clinical guidelines and other best practices to help reverse the opioid crisis. The outcome of these professionally facilitated sessions will be shared directly with the consortium to help inform their work. All physicians are invited to participate in the Oct. 6 convening. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending.
Regarding the testimony on draft legislation, Stader said, "our comments were well received. Our good relationship with Rep. Petterson and the stellar continued work of our lobby team help us get our perspective on issues heard."
Click here to read his Sept. 24 testimony.