Legislation (HR 5710) currently before the House would extend federal funding for state-based prescription drug monitoring programs, Government Health IT reports.
Background on Rx Monitoring Programs
A 2005 law calls for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to distribute grants to states that use monitoring systems to track the dispensing of medications that potentially could be misused. To be eligible for the funds, states also must comply with privacy, reporting and interoperability requirements.
Currently, 33 states have prescription drug monitoring systems, while another 10 states have regulations authorizing such programs.
House Bill Details
The House bill would:
- Authorize between $10 million and $15 million annually for the state prescription monitoring programs over the next five years;
- Call for states receiving funds to set timelines for achieving interoperability with monitoring programs in neighboring states;
- Permit the tracking programs to release non-identifiable summary data for research purposes; and
- Require states to provide HHS with aggregate data that could be used to evaluate the states' programs.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the bill on July 28.
A similar Senate bill (S 3575) has been referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Committee staffers say there are no immediate plans to consider the bill (Foxhall, Government Health IT, 9/10).