Substance Abuse

News & Analysis as of

Price hikes and product hype: Big Pharma’s relentless push

Just how rapacious can Big Pharma be? Makers hype more drugs as nation faces opioid drug abuse epidemic - In the face of an epidemic of opioid painkiller abuse, the drug industry’s answer appears to be: push even...more

You Should Know - October 2016

“You Should Know” Risk and Prevention Guide - Opiate Drug Abuse, Deaths Soar Along with Drug Company Profits - In April, musician and icon Prince died in his home from an accidental overdose of the prescription...more

Public Health Bills Advance

On September 30, 2016, President Obama signed into law S 1878, the Advancing Hope Act, which modifies the FDA’s priority review voucher program for rare pediatric diseases and extends the program through December 31, 2016. In...more

SAMHSA Final Rule on Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders Reporting Requirements

On September 27, 2016, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published a final rule establishing annual reporting requirements for certain practitioners who prescribe buprenorphine-based...more

Ugly details emerge on how Big Pharma fueled painkiller scourge

New information has surfaced about Big Pharma’s relentless campaign to sell the public on prescription, opioid painkillers-powerful, addictive drugs whose wide availability and abuse now has become a killer scourge that...more

Massachusetts Hospital Licensing Regulations Proposed Amendments – Key Take-Aways

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has released for public comment proposed amendments to DPH’s Hospital Licensure Regulations (105 CMR 130.00) (the “regulations”). The proposed amendments are designed to...more

UnitedHealth Plan Holders Win Class Certification in ERISA Lawsuit

The District Court for the Northern District of California recently granted certain members of UnitedHealth health plans class certification in their suit alleging improper denial of benefits. Plaintiffs in the putative...more

Drug Treatment Centers Must Walk a Fine Line With Respect to Marketing

A recent New York Times article entitled “How Staten Island’s Drug Problem Made It a Target for Poaching Patients,” details how recruiters for treatment centers as near as Long Island and upstate New York, and as far away as...more

Manatt on Health Reform: Weekly Highlights - August 2016 #3

CMS’s risk adjustment program data signals an improving risk pool while the agency announces plans to modify the program; California enrolls 134,000 undocumented immigrant children into Medicaid; and Oregon approves increases...more

Joint Custody and Legal Decision Making

In Hull v. Wesley the Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals addressed legal decision-making for children in the context of pain medication. These medications were taken during the pregnancy. The child was born...more

Obama Administration, Congress Take Steps to Fight Opioid Epidemic

HHS has announced a series of actions to address the nation’s opioid epidemic, as Congress has cleared the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act for the President’s signature. As part of the HHS activities, the Substance...more

House of Representatives Approves Mental Health System Reform Bill

The House of Representative has overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan bill (H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act) to reform the nation’s mental health care system. Key provisions of the legislation...more

Addressing the Opioid Crisis

Following the July 13 U.S. Senate's passage of Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), providers, families and communities should evaluate the act's impacts. The reform, S. 524, is viewed as a comprehensive approach...more

In the Line at Social Security, I Wonder, Have We Made It Too Easy to Quit?

One of the smartest, most perceptive persons I have ever had the good fortune to know, a gentleman from Worcester who has had a long and highly successful career in accounting and insurance, once said to me, “I’m willing to...more

FY2017 Massachusetts Budget Update: The Conference Committee Budget

Just before the close of the fiscal year, the House and Senate reached an agreement on a $39.146 billion state budget for FY17. Due to a recently identified $750 million drop in projected state revenue, the budget, which was...more

Manatt on Health Reform: Weekly Highlights - July 2016

Massachusetts extends coverage of Hepatitis C treatments and New Hampshire extends substance use disorder coverage to more Medicaid enrollees; Alaska’s Medicaid expansion now moves ahead uncontested; and CMS reports...more

Energy & Commerce Committee Approves Mental Health System Reform Bill

The House Energy & Commerce Committee has unanimously approved an amended version of H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, which is intended to reform the nation’s mental health care system. Among other...more

Certain Mental Health/Substance Abuse Plan Provisions Raise Red Flags

The Department of Labor has provided sample mental health/substance abuse (MH/SA) plan provisions that require scrutiny to determine compliance with the federal Mental Health Parity rules (MHPAEA). Here are some common red...more

House Approves Package of Bills to Address Opioid Epidemic

The House of Representatives has approved an amended version of S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which contains a wide-ranging collection of proposals to fight opioid abuse. The proposals were approved by...more

Health Law Insights Newsletter - Issue 9 - May 2016

NATIONAL - Medicare Proposes New Part B Payment System - The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on April 27 proposed a new rule that would transform Medicare Part B reimbursement to practitioners into...more

House Energy & Commerce Committee Approves Legislation to Address Opioid and Drug Abuse Epidemic

The House Energy & Commerce Committee has approved several more bipartisan public health bills, including a series of bills intended to combat opioid abuse and drug addiction. Specifically, the Committee approved...more

The IMD Exclusion: Changes Now and Changes to Come

On Monday, CMS finalized their long-awaited Medicaid managed care regulation. Deep in the regulation was a change to allow Medicaid reimbursement for facilities that had previously been excluded from receiving payments. ...more

Health Law Insights Newsletter - Issue 8 - April 2016

McCarter & English, LLP’s Health Care Group presents Issue 8 of the Health Law Insights, which discusses the latest legal issues in the health care industry. NATIONAL - New Payment Model for Part B Drugs Proposed -...more

Health Net Deepens Investigation of Addiction Treatment Centers

As noted in a blog posted earlier this year, addiction treatment providers have been receiving an increased number of requests from payors seeking a range of medical and billing records and other documentation concerning the...more

Legislative Update on Maine’s Substance Abuse Testing Law

In legislative news, a bill that would have implemented new changes to Maine’s substance abuse testing law has died after the House and Senate failed to agree on amendments to the bill from the Committee on Labor, Commerce,...more

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