Changes to chronic kidney care Medicare coverage in passed House legislation

By David White

Today, June 22nd 2018, the US House of Representatives passed H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act.  H.R. 6 combines more than 50 bills approved individually by the House.

The bipartisan bill is designed to help overall efforts to combat the opioid crisis by advancing treatment and recovery initiatives, bolstering prevention efforts, and trying to counter deadly illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl.

A last-minute addition to the legislative package in the House would extend by three months the period people with kidney failure remain on their commercial insurance plan with Medicare as a secondary payer before they transition to receiving coverage from Medicare as the primary payer.  If signed into law, the bill would increase the period in which Medicare serves as the secondary payer from 30 months to 33 months.  Lawmakers inserted the change, which is projected to save the government $290 million over a decade, to help pay for their slew of new initiatives aimed at curbing opioid misuse.  The bill passed the House by a vote of 396-14.

The bill is now headed to the Senate, where lawmakers are planning to take up their own opioid legislation.

A more in-depth review of H.R. 6 will run in the July issue of Kidney News.  Please tune in there for more information.

This article will also be updated with any breaking news on this bill’s progression.

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David White
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Today, June 22nd 2018, the US House of Representatives passed H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act.  H.R. 6 combines more than 50 bills approved individually by the House.

The bipartisan bill is designed to help overall efforts to combat the opioid crisis by advancing treatment and recovery initiatives, bolstering prevention efforts, and trying to counter deadly illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl.

A last-minute addition to the legislative package in the House would extend by three months the period people with kidney failure remain on their commercial insurance plan with Medicare as a secondary payer before they transition to receiving coverage from Medicare as the primary payer.  If signed into law, the bill would increase the period in which Medicare serves as the secondary payer from 30 months to 33 months.  Lawmakers inserted the change, which is projected to save the government $290 million over a decade, to help pay for their slew of new initiatives aimed at curbing opioid misuse.  The bill passed the House by a vote of 396-14.

The bill is now headed to the Senate, where lawmakers are planning to take up their own opioid legislation.

A more in-depth review of H.R. 6 will run in the July issue of Kidney News.  Please tune in there for more information.

This article will also be updated with any breaking news on this bill’s progression.

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Friday, June 22, 2018