Several new Massachusetts policies are aiding the collective fight against the opioid epidemic. In the past two weeks, the state has released guidance on how hospitals should be conducting substance use disorder evaluations and providing medication for opioid use disorders. The state also released guidance to help pharmacists and pharmacy interns that are now able to administer medications for treating mental illness and substance use disorder.
Concurrently, MHA worked with the Massachusetts College of Emergency Physicians to update joint guidelines on substance use disorder evaluations to reflect changes made by state law.
On the federal front, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has made final new policies for Medicare drug plans, including safety alerts when opioid prescriptions are dispensed at a pharmacy and drug management programs for patients determined to be at-risk for misuse of opioids or other frequently misused drugs. Last week, MHA provided its membership with a comprehensive summary of the many recent changes and evolving best practices for treating substance use disorder.