Senate Passes Bill To Remove Limit on Drug Abuse Treatment
The Senate on Monday by voice vote approved a bill (S 1887) to remove a limit on the number of drug treatment patients that physician groups can medicate with controlled substances, CQ Today reports (Stern, CQ Today, 6/7). Under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000, physicians can treat patients for addiction to opiates such as heroin with controlled substances dispensed in their offices; however, both individual physicians and group practices, which include hospitals and HMOs, cannot care for more than 30 drug treatment patients at one time (California Healthline, 6/7). Some physicians have "complained they are not able to treat as many patients as they would like" because of the law, CQ Today reports. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who co-sponsored the bill, said, "It clearly was not the intention" of the 2000 law that "addicted patients have less access to new medications simply because they receive care from a physician practicing in a group, or from a group-based or mixed-model health plan." The bill, which the Senate Judiciary Committee passed on June 3, would amend language in the Controlled Substances Act (CQ Today, 6/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.