Substance Abuse

News & Analysis as of

Health Care Update - November 2015 #2

FDA Hosts Genome Scientists For Next-Generation Sequencing Conference - Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hosted genome scientists from across the nation at its campus in White Oak, Maryland. Two public...more

Recent Decision Provides Case Study on Managing Suspected Alcohol Impairment

If an employer suspects that an employee may be coping with a substance abuse issue, such as alcoholism, what steps can it take to ensure that the employee is not coming to work impaired? A recent federal court case explored...more

Prosecutors win rare murder conviction of M.D. in prescription drug deaths

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers but one voice among many that has declared that the United States is in the midst of a prescription drug abuse epidemic. As the CDC notes: “Since 1999, the amount of...more

New Affordable Care Act FAQs Provide Guidance on Preventive Services, Wellness Programs and Mental Health Parity

On October 23, 2015, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury (the “Agencies”) jointly released their twenty-ninth (XXIX) set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Affordable Care Act (ACA)...more

Health Care Update - November 2015

Ways & Means Leadership Changes – Health Policy Implications Looming: As Congress pushes forward with a two-year budget deal, and new Speaker Paul Ryan begins his tenure as the top Republican in the House of...more

MA Health Policy Updates – Moves to Strengthen HPC and Expand Telemedicine

In a recent Alert, the Mintz Levin Health Law Practice and ML Strategies provided a comprehensive look at recent developments in Massachusetts health policy. In addition to a detailed report on recent Health Policy Commission...more

Health Care Update - October 2015

Senate Working Group Pressing Forward on Telehealth - As Congress focuses on bigger picture policy decisions, including broad budget negotiations and raising the debt ceiling, there are some exciting developments on the...more

Effective November 1, 2015: New Jersey Expands Scope of Prescription Monitoring Program

In July, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed legislation that expands the access, registration, and utilization of the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program (NJPMP). The legislation, Senate Bill 1998 (S-1998), is...more

That is SO last week - October 2015 #4

Last week, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued its summary decision in Triple Play Sports Bar and Grille. Affirming the National Labor Relations Board, the Court held that an employee’s Facebook comments about working...more

Recent Developments in Massachusetts Health Policy

Building on the momentum of early October hearings on the state’s growing health care expenditures, the Health Policy Commission (HPC), the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, Governor Charlie Baker, and others spent...more

Health Care Physicians in the Crosshairs: Criminal Prosecution

Recent changes to our health care system have been at the forefront of the American news cycle for several years. But certain aspects have not received adequate attention. One example is the scrutiny federal and state...more

Massachusetts Legislature Takes Action on Opioid Crisis

Amid a recent surge in opioid-related deaths in Massachusetts, with over 1,200 accidental deadly overdoses last year, the Senate passed legislation on Thursday, October 1, that is designed to fight the epidemic on various...more

Senate HELP Committee Approves Mental Health, Opioid Abuse, Drug Scheduling Legislation

On September 30, 2015, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved the following bipartisan legislation: S. 799, the Protecting Our Infants Act (to combat the rise of prenatal opioid abuse and...more

Massachusetts Legislature Ends Active July with Budget Overrides

After a busy final few weeks of activity, the Massachusetts Legislature departed for its summer recess with a new budget and progress on several priority policy issues. In addition to overriding $97 million in Governor...more

Energy & Commerce Committee Approves Bipartisan Health Bills

On July 29, 2015, the House Energy & Commerce Committee approved the following bipartisan bills that aim to improve health care for newborns, infants, and children...more

Health Care Update - July 2015 #3

ACA Repeal Votes Continue: As part of a rare Senate Sunday session to consider a bill to replenish the highway trust fund for six years, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) brought up an amendment to repeal the ACA—in...more

Changes and Challenges for Mental and Behavioral Health Providers

As Kentucky’s Senate Bill 192 highlights, coverage and treatment of substance abuse problems is dramatically changing as the current penal model is slowly being replaced with a treatment model. Even terminology for what has...more

Legislature Reins in Addiction Recovery Residences

Florida law makers have decided it is high time to stop allowing addiction recovery residences to operate without regulatory oversight. In its last session, the Florida Legislature passed a new law (CS/CS/HB 21) requiring...more

UCLA Health System announces data breach affecting 4.5 million patients and medical providers

Adding to the long list of cyber hacking victims, the UCLA Health System announced on Friday (July 17, 2015) that it confirmed on May 5, 2015 that a cyber-attacker had accessed parts of UCLA Health’s network back to September...more

Case Alert: Employee Unfairly Dismissed for Going to Work Smelling of Alcohol

What happened? In McElroy v Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, an Employment Tribunal decided that the summary dismissal of a healthcare assistant for coming to work smelling of alcohol was unfair. Mr McElroy was...more

Medication-Assisted Therapies, Behavioral Health Services Organizations and Issues Facing Behavioral Health Providers, Part Two

In addition to regulations regarding buprenorphine, the General Assembly passed a new law to bolster the ability of behavioral health providers to provide substance abuse disorder services and receive Medicaid reimbursement...more

Medication-Assisted Therapies, Behavioral Health Services Organizations and Issues Facing Behavioral Health Providers, Part One

Kentucky seems to be losing physicians who treat opioid addicted patients with buprenorphine therapy as tough new standards for prescribing the medication have been enacted by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure (“KBML”)....more

“Burt’s Law” Places New and Enhanced Responsibilities on Employees and Volunteers In Facilities Providing Care for Those with...

According to press reports across North Carolina, Burt Powell was a resident of a group home for adults with mental disabilities. His parents placed him in the facility to increase his chances of achieving a more independent...more

Kentucky’s Evolving Behavioral Health Providers

One of the most important effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) is the profound change in the coverage of behavioral health services. ...more

Coverage and Delivery of Adult Substance Abuse Services in Medicaid Managed Care

Medicaid’s role in purchasing and delivering substance abuse services is changing dramatically. Prior to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), most state Medicaid programs did not cover childless adults and...more

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