LANSING — A bill sponsored by state Rep. Andy Schor (D-Lansing) that ensures Michigan Medicaid recipients can receive medical treatment for opioid addiction cleared the House of Representatives on Tuesday and is headed to the Senate for consideration. Rep. Schor’s House Bill 4403 is part of a six-bill, bipartisan package of legislation that changes the way Michigan addresses the opioid abuse problem in our state and recognizes that punishment alone will not solve the addiction crisis.
“Opioid addiction is a medical condition, so a part of the solution must also be medical,” Rep. Schor said. “My bill would ensure that people who are addicted to opiates and who are on Medicaid would get the assistance they need to overcome their addiction, including medically necessary detoxification, inpatient care at an approved facility and care at an appropriately licensed substance use disorder treatment facility. Jail time alone will never solve this crisis.”
Other bills in the package would:
- Define and allow for the licensure of pain management facilities by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
- Allow a pharmacist to refuse to fill a prescription for a schedule II-V controlled substance, if the pharmacist has a reasonable and good-faith belief that it was not written in good faith or would not be filled for a medical purpose.
- Require the Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission to develop recommendations on teaching about opioid abuse in schools.
- Require the Michigan Department of Education to make available a model program of instruction based on those recommendations to school districts and public school academies; and to ensure that the model program, at least, is included in the state’s Model Core Curriculum content standards and the health education component of the Merit Curriculum graduation requirements.
- Require a prescriber to discuss certain issues and obtain a signed parental consent form before issuing the first prescription to a minor in a single course of treatment for a controlled substance containing an opioid. The bill would also amend two existing sections to make failure to comply with these requirements a violation punishable by probation, limitation, denial, fine, suspension, revocation, or permanent revocation of the prescriber’s license.
“I’m hopeful that our colleagues will act quickly to vote on these bills and send them on to the governor for signing,” Rep. Schor said. “The quicker they are signed into law, the quicker we can start helping Michigan families facing this terrible addiction.”