Opioid use disorder is a public health crisis. To address the opioid epidemic throughout the state, this act leverages the direction provided by the Washington state Inter-agency Opioid Working Plan.
The bill declares that substance use disorders are medical conditions and should be treated in a manner similar to other medical conditions by using evidence-based interventions.
The goals of treatment for persons with opioid use disorder are to cease use of unprescribed opioids, to reduced morbidity, and ultimately to lead a productive and fulfilling life. With these goals in mind, the state may seek, receive and expend Title XIX funding in response to the opioid crisis, must partner with appropriate agencies and entities to leverage Medicaid funding, and also seeks a section 1115 Demonstration Waiver to fund opioid treatment.
State agencies must increase access to evidence-based opioid use disorder treatment services, promote coordination of services within the substance use disorder treatment and recovery support system, strengthen partnerships between opioid use disorder treatment providers and their allied community partners, expand the use of the Washington state prescription drug monitoring program, and support comprehensive school and community-based substance use prevention services.
The act notes with concern increased use of opioids among pregnant women. It requires these women are informed about the health risks of medication to treat opioid disorder to themselves and their baby, and the possibility of treatment to manage neonatal opioid or other drug withdrawal.
Further, it requires (and names) health care providers who prescribe opioids to inform patients about the risks and pain management alternatives to opioids.
It amends current RCW to include opioid reversal medication in a variety of settings.
The bill also establishes a statewide electronic emergency medical services data system and adopts rules requiring licensed ambulance and aid services to report and furnish patient encounter data to the electronic emergency medical services data system and expands integration of prescription monitoring program data into certified electronic health record technologies.
Finally, the bill asserts that the Health Care Authority must work with the department and the authority's Medicaid Managed Care organizations to eliminate barriers and promote access to effective medications known to address opioid use disorders at state-certified opioid treatment programs.
Bill requires all city and county jails in Washington to adopt requirements by January 1, 2021 that address the behavioral health needs of incarcerated individuals with an opioid use disorder.
Supports prevention of opioid use disorders and requires the authority develop and recommend coverage for non-pharmacologic treatments for acute, sub-acute, and chronic non-cancer pain and report to the governor and the appropriate committees of the legislature, including any requests for necessary funding to implement the recommendations.
*Companion to SB 538