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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 4, 2017 02:07 PM
From: Senator Camera Bartolotta
To: All Senate members
Subject: Patient-Centered Opioid Addiction Treatment
In the near future, I will introduce legislation requiring a more patient-centered focus in the treatment of opioid addiction.

Currently, the type of treatment a patient receives is largely dependent upon the location which he or she receives the treatment. For example, if a patient enters a methadone clinic, he or she will be offered methadone maintenance treatment. The same holds true for an Office-Based Opioid Treatment (OBOT) program, which provides treatment with Suboxone. Alternatively, some providers only offer abstinence-based treatment, and a patient may never be educated or even offered the option of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT).

Every person struggling with substance abuse is unique and has different circumstances which have contributed to his or her addiction issues. Therefore, individual paths to recovery also differ. My legislation will ensure there is a more comprehensive and patient-centered focus for the treatment of opioid dependence in all treatment settings. It will require treatment programs in the Commonwealth to follow certain best practices in providing individualized, patient-centered care to each patient who walks through the door in need of assistance.

Specifically, my proposal will include:
  • A requirement to obtain informed consent from a patient concerning all FDA-approved available treatment options;
  • Training and experience requirements for prescribers of all FDA-approved medications for the treatment of opioid dependence;
  • A requirement for initial and periodic behavioral health assessments for each patient;
  • Development of best practice guidelines for the treatment of opioid dependence; and
  • A requirement that providers develop an abuse and diversion plan.
Please join me to co-sponsor this legislation which will modernize addiction treatment in Pennsylvania and ensure an impact on the opioid epidemic plaguing our Commonwealth.

Introduced as SB428