Toomey, Manchin Team Up to Help Overdose Victims

Bipartisan IMPROVE Addiction Care Act seeks to prevent fatal overdoses

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) are once again working together to provide greater assistance to individuals who have struggled with opioid misuse and abuse.

The Improving Medicaid Programs’ Response to Overdose Victims and Enhancing (IMPROVE) Addiction Care Act would require state Medicaid programs to use jointly-funded drug utilization review programs to help connect to treatment and boost safeguards for those on Medicaid who have experienced a non-fatal, opioid-related overdose. The legislation would close a dangerous information gap that keeps prescribers informed about a patient who overdoses.

In 2018, Congress passed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act resulting in Medicare Part D plan sponsors being notified of individuals with a history of opioid-related overdose—no notification or case management was previously required solely based on previous non-fatal overdose occurrence, despite studies linking previous non-fatal overdoses to subsequent fatal overdoses.

“No corner of Pennsylvania has been spared from the opioid epidemic,” said Senator Toomey. “To be most effective, doctors should be made aware of the health history of their patients – including incidents of overdoses. The IMPROVE Addiction Care Act will ultimately promote better prescribing habits and help those battling addiction get the care they clearly need. I thank Senator Manchin for working with me on this bipartisan bill, and I hope we are able to get this to the president’s desk.”

“Every West Virginian has experienced the impacts of the drug epidemic on our family, friends, and neighbors. Today I joined Senator Toomey to introduce the IMPROVE Addiction Care Act to strengthen Drug Utilization Review programs across the nation to prevent overdoses by helping to better connect Medicaid patients to treatment options. Americans who have overdosed need our help getting back on their feet through treatment programs, and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this commonsense legislation,” said Senator Manchin.

Specifically, the IMPROVE Addiction Care Act requires that states use drug utilization review programs to:

  • Alert: Ensure that doctors are aware if their Medicaid-enrolled patient has suffered a previous nonfatal overdose and alert the prescriber when one of their patients suffers a fatal overdose
  • Treat: Connect recent opioid overdose survivors who receive Medicaid benefits with treatment opportunities
  • Educate: Perform ongoing reviews and offer provider education

You may view the full text here. A one page summary is also available here

Supporting Organizations include: 

  • Health Innovation Alliance – Opioid Safety Alliance
  • Society of Behavioral Medicine
  • American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry
  • NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals
  • Shatterproof
  • FED UP! Rally
  • American Society of Addiction Medicine
  • Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network
  • Faces and Voices of Recovery
  • Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA)