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Congressman Alex X. Mooney (WV-2) Announces the Implementation of His Bill H.R. 4499, the Promoting Responsible Opioid Prescribing Act

July 7, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Alex X. Mooney announced that his bill, H.R. 4499, the Promoting Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) Act, will be implemented by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

“On Wednesday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that they are implementing the important policy changes contained in my bill, H.R. 4499, the Promoting Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) Act. Since I first introduced the PROP Act in February, I have been calling for Congress to pass my common sense, bipartisan legislation, which puts doctors, not the federal government, in control of opioid prescribing decisions. This change in policy is an important part of the fight against opioid abuse. I would like to thank the 43 cosponsors of my bill in the House and the 8 cosponsors in the Senate in our successful effort to pass this bill’s policies through regulation and help put an end to opioid abuse,” said Rep. Alex X. Mooney.

“This week, we took action to stop the nation’s growing opioid epidemic from hurting more Americans,” said Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady. “As House Republicans noted in our plan to improve health care for all Americans, we are concerned that the Administration's practice of tying payment policies to patient satisfaction results can harm patients rather than help them. Thanks to Congressman Mooney’s leadership, HHS has taken an important step to directly address that concern by reforming policies regarding the prescription of medication.”

“Removing questions from payment calculations that could lead to inappropriate pressure on doctors is a bipartisan, commonsense solution to tackling the enormous challenges we face in the ongoing opioid epidemic,” Sen. Johnson said. “I’m glad to see that the Department of Health and Human Services plans to implement changes my legislation called for as part of their newly announced actions on opioids—it’s the responsible thing to do.”

“This is a big win for Senator Johnson, for the people of Wisconsin, and for the country,” said health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander. “These survey questions had the unintended consequence of actually encouraging the overprescribing of painkilling opioids and I’m glad to see the administration correct this mistake by removing them from Medicare payment calculations."

“Prescription drugs play an enormous role in the heroin epidemic; far too many individuals struggling with addiction were first introduced to their drug of choice through legally-prescribed medication. That’s why it’s imperative that we take steps to reform prescribing practices to safeguard our communities,” said Rep. Kuster. “One of the most egregious examples of this is a legislative glitch that links Medicare reimbursement rates to a patient’s reported pain level, which could inadvertently incentivize doctors to prescribe more pain medication than may be necessary to improve their level of reimbursement. I was proud to join with my colleague from West Virginia to help introduce legislation to undo this glitch, and I urged the White House to take immediate steps to do the same. I applaud the White House and HHS for following our lead and taking steps today to undo this completely unnecessary and harmful policy.” 

The Promoting Responsible Opioid Prescribing Act would remove a significant source of pressure on doctors to prescribe narcotic pain medication. For more information on the PROP Act, follow this link.

Alex X. Mooney represents West Virginia’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a member of the Budget and Natural Resources Committees.

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