Health Technology Groups Brief Congress on Opioid Crisis & Technology Solutions

September 25, 2018
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Event Details


Who:  Collaboration between eHealth Initiative, HIMSS, Health IT Now, American Telemedicine Association, Connected Health Initiative, Intel, LifeWIRE Inc., Centene, and Surescripts.
Produced by Health Tech Strategies. Lead Federal Officials invited.

Where:  Room 902 Hart Senate Office Building

When:  Monday, October 1st, 12:30 – 2:30 pm

Multi-Media: Videos of the panel discussions will be available following the event

Washington, DC – On October 1st, 2018 Congress will be briefed by major companies and organizations including the eHealth Initiative, HIMSS, Connected Health Initiative, American Telemedicine Association, Health IT Now, and Health Tech Strategies about technologies being employed to address the opioid crisis.

Just last week the Senate passed a major consensus bill (S.2680) as the House considers several important measures.

The October 1st Senate-side briefing will feature leaders from government and industry collaborating on a problem that kills more than 100 Americans every day.

“Facing a public health crisis, the Surescripts Network Alliance is taking action in the form of education, public policy, and powerful information technologies that are available today.” says Surescripts’s Paul Uhrig.  “These tools provide nationwide access to patient medication history data and the ability to prescribe controlled substances electronically.”

The US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recently concluded that the use of Health IT has been demonstrated to improve compliance with: opioid prescription guidelines; physician adherence to treatment protocols; and, improves overall safety.

“Patients need help managing their post-surgical pain, as one example contributing to opioid issues, and providers want to help. Using technology to continue conversations virtually with the patient, manage their transitions to OTC for pain is critical to reducing addiction.” notes Howard Rosen, CEO LifeWIRE Corp.

According to Intel Solutions Architect Wendy Bohner,“Intel, with our partners, is driving a community-based project to combat opioid abuse. This project aims to show how AI, blockchain and telehealth technologies can be leveraged in addressing the opioid crisis.”


The 2018 Omnibus Appropriations bill included a $3 billion increase to address the addiction crisis, making a total investment of $7.4 billion for 32 key programs comprising the federal opioid response.  The leading consolidated bi-partisan measure passed last week on a 99-1 vote. The Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 (S.2680) by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and more than 70 colleagues, would heavily emphasize the use of key technologies like: Data Analytics; Electronic Health Records; and Telemedicine to help track controlled substances.

Additional recent legislation including the Access to Telehealth Services for Substance Use Disorders Act. (H.R. 5603) by Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) would waive certain Medicare telehealth requirements in the case of some treatments of an opioid use disorder. 

Given the magnitude of the crisis organizations have committed to ongoing collaboration in pursuit of technology-assisted solutions.


Additional Quotes by Collaborating Organizations

eHealth Initiative

“eHealth Initiative wants to support the efforts of Congress by promoting best practices in the private sector” said Jennifer Covich Bordenick, CEO, eHealth Initiative. “We know there are solutions available now to address the opioid crisis. This is no time for a watered-down policy. Policymakers must take a strong stance to ensure solutions are implemented at the state and federal level.”

Health IT Now

“Health IT Now looks forward to joining Health Tech Strategies and others at this critical briefing to acknowledge the progress that has been made in the fight against opioid misuse while also sharing about opportunities for further reform – such as passage of the bipartisan ALERT Act (H.R.6688)Reps.Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), Ann Kuster (D-NH) -  which would enact a Prescription Safety Alert System that arms clinicians with the proper tools to thwart opioid misuse in real-time,” said Health IT Now Executive Director Joel White.

Connected Health Initiative

“The Connected Health Initiative (CHI) supports and applauds efforts in Congress to empower caregivers, patients, and their family members to address the opioid crisis with tech-driven tools from live video and electronic prescriptions to remote monitoring and enhanced patient engagement through software platforms” said Graham Dufault of ACT, The App Association.

American Telemedicine Association

 “Telemedicine is used nationwide to provide counseling and behavioral therapy helping to reduce treatment wait times and address distance barriers for those getting help. Federal laws make counseling for Medicare beneficiaries living in urban areas and prescribing via telemedicine quite challenging. One of the unintended consequences of these laws patients are unable to receive the care they need when, where, and from whom they need it.”, said Ann Mon Johnson, President of the American Telemedicine Association.Especially given the magnitude of the crisis, organizations have committed to ongoing collaboration in pursuit of technology-assisted solutions.”

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