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  • WEAMA Legislative Alert!! Senate Health Care Hearing on Monday, January 15th, 10:00 am. Posted 1/12/2018

WEAMA Legislative Alert!! Senate Health Care Hearing on Monday, January 15th, 10:00 am. Posted 1/12/2018

January 12, 2018 4:49 PM | Shelley Dahle (Administrator)

On January 15, WEAMA has been invited to present to the Senate Health Care Committee as part of a panel on Alternatives to Opioids. Jason Taylor, WEAMA Board member will be presenting to the committee and sharing the “Acupunctures Role in Solving the Opioid Epidemic” that was presented to Congress last fall.

Washington State is in the middle of an Opioid Epidemic. In 2015, 718 Washingtonians died from opioid overdose, more than from car accidents. The majority of drug overdose deaths — more than six out of ten — involve an opioid. Nationwide, 1 in 4 people who receive prescription opioids for chronic pain in primary care settings struggle with addiction.

WEAMA has been working on Acupuncture as an Alternative to Opioids for a number of years. We sent Governor Inslee the attached letter on September 26, 2017 and within a week had a meeting scheduled with Jason McGill, Governor’s Health Policy Staff and the Medical Directors from the Health Care Authority, Medicaid and the Department of Health to discuss how to integrate acupuncture into the Medicaid insurance program in WA State. A policy analyst was assigned to research the issue. Out of that discussion came a section in two bills (companion bills) that have been introduced by Governor Inslee to address opioid abuse: 

HB 2489 - 2017-18  Concerning opioid use disorder treatment, prevention, and related services. 

Sponsors: Cody, Rodne, Harris, Caldier, Macri, Robinson, Jinkins, Muri, Kagi, McBride, Wylie, Peterson, Slatter, Hayes, Sawyer, Pollet, Doglio, Kloba, Tharinger, Ormsby, Johnson, Kilduff 

SB 6150 - 2017-18   Concerning opioid use disorder treatment, prevention, and related services. 

Sponsors: Cleveland, Rivers, Carlyle, Kuderer, Fain, Hasegawa, Mullet, Saldaña, Conway, Van De Wege, Chase, Keiser, Liias

These bills have bi-partisan support. WEAMA is very supportive of Section 14 of the bill that starts a pilot project at the Health Care Authority and will be testifying in support of these two bills next week. It is essentially a pilot project to start using EAMPs and acupuncture treatment with Medicaid in WA State. The standards are very similar to L & I for evidence based medicine.

NEW SECTION. Sec. 14. A new section is added to chapter 74.09 RCW to read as follows: (1) By October 2018, the health care authority shall develop and recommend for coverage nonpharmacologic treatments for chronic noncancer pain and shall report to the governor and the appropriate committees of the legislature, including any requests for funding6necessary to implement the recommendations under this section. The recommendations must contain the following elements: (a) A list of chronic conditions for which nonpharmacologic treatments will be covered; (b) A list of which nonpharmacologic treatments will be covered for each chronic condition specified as eligible for coverage; (c) Recommendations as to the duration, amount, and type of treatment eligible for coverage by condition; (d) A financial model that is scalable based on the types of conditions covered and the amount of allowed services per condition; (e) Guidance on the type of providers eligible to provide these treatments; and (f) Recommendations regarding the need to add any provider types to the list of currently eligible medicaid provider types. (2) The health care authority shall ensure only treatments that are supported by evidence for the treatment of the specific chronic pain conditions listed will be eligible for coverage recommendations.

If you live in one of these state legislator’s districts, please send them a note in support of the bill. To find your district and state legislator, go to: http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/, put in your home address and open links to your two House of Representative and one Senators contact information. If you are free that day, feel free to come to Olympia and watch the proceedings or watch on TVW at: https://www.tvw.org/

Senate Health & Long-Term Care

1/15/18 10:00 am 

Senate Hearing Rm 2, J.A. Cherberg Building, Olympia, WA 

Work Session:

  1. Emergency Department perspective in the opioid crisis. 
  2. Conversation on alternative therapies to pain management. Panelist Jason Taylor, will be presenting for WEAMA. 
  3. Medically-assisted treatment for opioid abuse.

Public Hearing:

SB 6150 - Concerning opioid use disorder treatment, prevention, and related services.

Health Care & Wellness (House) - HHR A, JLOB - 1/19 @ 10:00am

HB 2489 - Public Hearing - Concerning opioid use disorder treatment, prevention, and related services.

See attachments below:

Gov Inslee Lettter Acupuncture Alt Opiods 9-26-17.pdf

Acupunctures Role in Solving the Opioid Epidemic _Final_September_20_2017-1 (1).pdf