WASHINGTON — Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, had this to say following notification that the Department of Health and Human Services finalized a rule implementing the Promoting Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) Act to help curb the opioid epidemic.
“I applaud the administration for implementing my bipartisan, commonsense solution to fight the opioid epidemic. As we’ve seen in Wisconsin and across the country, the opioid epidemic has affected the lives of many families, including my own. With the support for this change among doctors, administrators, and patients, this is an important step in stemming the tide of opioid abuse,” said Johnson. “Physicians must be free to exercise their best judgment when prescribing the proper level of pain medication – that’s what patients and taxpayers expect.”
In April 2016, Johnson, joined by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), introduced S. 2758, the Promoting Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) Act, which prohibits pain management questions on patient surveys from being factored into Medicare reimbursement calculations, to help address the issue of opioid overprescription.
Before the implementation of the PROP Act, pain management questions on patient surveys have been factored into Medicare reimbursement calculations, which can serve as an incentive for the overprescription of opioids.
During the Committee’s field hearing in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, in April, Dr. Timothy Westlake, the Vice Chairman of the State of Wisconsin Medical Examining Board, testified that the PROP Act is “the single-most important piece of legislation reform that [policymakers] could do.”
Johnson recently sent a letter to CMS urging the administration to implement the PROP Act as soon as possible.