Opioid commission calls on Trump for state, federal PDMP interoperability

The White House opioid group led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also asked Trump to declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency.
By Jessica Davis
01:15 PM
Opioid commission

The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis -- led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie -- called on President Donald Trump to make federal and state prescription drug monitoring programs completely interoperable within the next year.

The draft report released Monday also asked the President to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency. Trump established the commission on March 29 through an executive order and works closely with the White House Office of American Innovation led by Jared Kushner.

The commission outlined its recommendations, which included the need for both federal funding and technical support to spur data sharing between PDMPs. The groups also called on the administration to create a directive in which the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Health and Human Services will lead the effort.

The group’s goal is for all state and federal PMDPs to be interoperable by July 1, 2018. While all states outside of Missouri are using PDMPs to track drug use, not nearly enough are sharing information. State models vary in policies and structure when it comes to sharing data.

In addition, “the PDMP needs to be improved with regard to its ease of use and inclusion of other data to assist prescribing doctors,” the authors wrote. Clinicians need to check the PDMP before prescribing an opioid or benzodiazepine to determine if the patient has overdosed in the past or can be determined high risk.

As both healthcare providers and law enforcement use the platform, the group is calling for the administration to make the platforms easier to use.

What’s noticeably missing is that the group fell short on requesting mandates that would make it a requirement for all providers to check the PDMP before prescribing opioids.

Also included in the report are recommendations to better align patient privacy laws through regulation. Specifically, the 42 CFR Part 2 law that requires addiction treatment providers acquire written consent from a patient before sharing data with the patient’s other providers.

This law, the group said, make it “administratively difficult for providers to share information has ill-effects on patients in both physical and behavioral health settings, by restraining physicians’ ability to make informed healthcare decisions.”

The group said it will provide additional recommendations in the final draft of the report, as it seeks the administration’s support to work on the opioid crisis.

Twitter: @JessieFDavis
Email the writer: jessica.davis@himssmedia.com

Like Healthcare IT News on Facebook and LinkedIn