At a recent Senate appropriations hearing on the Health and Human Services Dept.’s FY 2019 budget request, Secretary Alex Azar offered details on the Trump administration’s wishes for the agency, including increased funding to combat the opioid epidemic. The hearing was held by the subcommittee on labor, health and human services, education and related services. Overall, the White House is proposing a “ReImagine HHS” initiative through the request to identify opportunities to improve the agency’s work, in terms of efficiency, quality, and cost-effectiveness. The secretary especially pointed out the need for effective programs to combat an administration top priority to fight “the scourge of opioid addiction facing our country.” Azar said the budget request keeps HHS on the path to improve community response to the opioid epidemic. “As just one example, the budget directs resources to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (HHS) to improve access to medication-assisted treatment services, boost state capacity to establish and operate comprehensive prevention systems and disseminate high-quality resources on best practices for treatment,” he said. Focus already producing results The White House’s focus on the epidemic has already resulted in billions in funding for programs described by Azar. For instance, the current omnibus law (PL 115-141) provides $4 billion in funding to address the issue. SAMHA’s $1 billion State Targeted Respon [...]
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6/1/18 5:47 PM