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PRINTER'S NO. 2207
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1662
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY DiGIROLAMO, KINSEY, ZABEL, SCHLOSSBERG, MILLARD,
HOHENSTEIN, HOWARD, DeLUCA, SAYLOR, T. DAVIS, FREEMAN,
NEILSON, SIMS, MOUL, HILL-EVANS, WEBSTER, POLINCHOCK, ROZZI,
NELSON, STRUZZI, PASHINSKI, RIGBY, SCHLEGEL CULVER, COMITTA,
GREGORY AND MIHALEK, JUNE 19, 2019
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON HUMAN SERVICES, JUNE 19, 2019
AN ACT
Amending the act of October 24, 2012 (P.L.1198, No.148),
entitled "An act establishing the Methadone Death and
Incident Review Team and providing for its powers and duties;
and imposing a penalty," further providing for title of act,
for short title, for definitions, for establishment of
Methadone Death and Incident Review Team, for team duties,
for duties of coroner and medical examiner, for review
procedures and for confidentiality.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The title and sections 1, 2, 3 heading, (a) and
(b)(3), 4, 5, 6 and 8(a) and (f) of the act of October 24, 2012
(P.L.1198, No.148), known as the Methadone Death and Incident
Review Act, are amended to read:
An Act
Establishing the Methadone and Buprenorphine Death and Incident
Review Team and providing for its powers and duties; and
imposing a penalty.
Section 1. Short title.
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This act shall be known and may be cited as the Methadone and
Buprenorphine Death and Incident Review Act.
Section 2. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Department." The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs of
the Commonwealth.
"Methadone-related or buprenorphine-related death." A death
where methadone or buprenorphine was:
(1) a primary or secondary cause of death; or
(2) may have been a contributing factor.
"Methadone-related or buprenorphine-related incident." A
situation where methadone or buprenorphine may be a contributing
factor which:
(1) does not involve a fatality; and
(2) involves:
(i) a serious injury; or
(ii) unreasonable risk of death or serious injury.
["Narcotic treatment program."] "Opioid-assisted treatment
program." A program licensed and approved by the Department of
Drug and Alcohol Programs for chronic opiate drug users that
administers or dispenses agents under a narcotic treatment
physician's order, either for detoxification purposes or for
maintenance.
"Secretary." The Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs of
the Commonwealth.
"Team." The Methadone and Buprenorphine Death and Incident
Review Team established under section 3.
Section 3. Establishment of Methadone and Buprenorphine Death
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and Incident Review Team.
(a) Team established.--The department shall establish a
Methadone and Buprenorphine Death and Incident Review Team and
conduct a review and shall examine the circumstances surrounding
methadone-related or buprenorphine-related deaths and methadone-
related or buprenorphine-related incidents in this Commonwealth
for the purpose of promoting safety, reducing methadone-related
or buprenorphine-related deaths and methadone-related or
buprenorphine-related incidents and improving treatment
practices.
(b) Composition.--The team shall consist of the following
individuals:
* * *
(3) The following individuals appointed by the
secretary:
(i) A representative from [narcotic treatment
programs as defined in 28 Pa. Code ยง 701.1 (relating to
definitions)] an opioid-assisted treatment program.
(ii) A representative from a licensed drug and
alcohol addiction treatment program that is not defined
as [a narcotic treatment program] an opioid-assisted
treatment program.
(iii) A representative from law enforcement
recommended by a Statewide association representing
members of law enforcement.
(iv) A representative from the medical community
recommended by a Statewide association representing
physicians.
(v) A district attorney recommended by a Statewide
association representing district attorneys.
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(vi) A coroner or medical examiner recommended by a
Statewide association representing county coroners and
medical examiners.
(vii) A member of the public.
(viii) A patient or family advocate.
(ix) A representative from a recovery organization.
* * *
Section 4. Team duties.
The team shall:
(1) Review each death where methadone or buprenorphine
was either the primary or a secondary cause of death and
review methadone-related or buprenorphine-related incidents.
(2) Determine the role that methadone or buprenorphine
played in each death and methadone-related or buprenorphine-
related incident.
(3) Communicate concerns to regulators and facilitate
communication within the health care and legal systems about
issues that could threaten health and public safety.
(4) Develop best practices to prevent future methadone-
related or buprenorphine-related deaths and methadone-related
or buprenorphine-related incidents. The best practices shall
be:
(i) Promulgated by the department as regulations.
(ii) Posted on the department's Internet website.
(5) Collect and store data on the number of methadone-
related or buprenorphine-related deaths and methadone-related
or buprenorphine-related incidents and provide a brief
description of each death and incident. The aggregate
statistics shall be posted on the department's Internet
website. The team may collect and store data concerning
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deaths and incidents related to other drugs used in opiate
treatment.
(6) Develop a form for the submission of methadone-
related or buprenorphine-related deaths and methadone-related
or buprenorphine-related incidents to the team by any
concerned party.
(7) Develop, in consultation with a Statewide
association representing county coroners and medical
examiners, a model form for county coroners and medical
examiners to use to report and transmit information regarding
methadone-related or buprenorphine-related deaths to the
team. The team and the Statewide association representing
county coroners and medical examiners shall collaborate to
ensure that all methadone-related or buprenorphine-related
deaths are, to the fullest extent possible, identified by
coroners and medical examiners.
(8) Develop and implement any other strategies that the
team identifies to ensure that the most complete collection
of methadone-related or buprenorphine-related death and
methadone-related or buprenorphine-related serious incident
cases reasonably possible is created.
(9) Prepare an annual report that shall be posted on the
department's Internet website and distributed to the chairman
and minority chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the
Senate, the chairman and minority chairman of the Public
Health and Welfare Committee of the Senate, the chairman and
minority chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the House of
Representatives and the chairman and minority chairman of the
Human Services Committee of the House of Representatives.
Each report shall:
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(i) Provide public information regarding the number
and causes of methadone-related or buprenorphine-related
deaths and methadone-related or buprenorphine-related
incidents.
(ii) Provide aggregate data on five-year trends on
methadone-related or buprenorphine-related deaths and
methadone-related or buprenorphine-related incidents when
such information is available.
(iii) Make recommendations to prevent future
methadone-related or buprenorphine-related deaths,
methadone-related or buprenorphine-related incidents and
abuse and set forth the department's plan for
implementing the recommendations.
(iv) Recommend changes to statutes and regulations
to decrease methadone-related or buprenorphine-related
deaths and methadone-related or buprenorphine-related
incidents.
(v) Provide a report on methadone-related or
buprenorphine-related deaths and methadone-related or
buprenorphine-related incidents and concerns regarding
[narcotic] opioid-assisted treatment programs.
(10) Develop and publish on the department's Internet
website a list of meetings for each year.
Section 5. Duties of coroner and medical examiner.
A county coroner or medical examiner shall forward all
methadone-related or buprenorphine-related death cases to the
team for review. The county coroner and medical examiner shall
use the model form developed by the team to transmit the data.
Section 6. Review procedures.
The team may review the following information:
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(1) Coroner's reports or postmortem examination records
unless otherwise prohibited by Federal or State laws,
regulations or court decisions.
(2) Death certificates and birth certificates.
(3) Law enforcement records and interviews with law
enforcement officials as long as the release of such records
will not jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation or
proceeding.
(4) Medical records from hospitals, other health care
providers and [narcotic treatment programs] opioid-assisted
treatment programs.
(5) Information and reports made available by the county
children and youth agency in accordance with 23 Pa.C.S. Ch.
63 (relating to child protective services).
(6) Information made available by firefighters or
emergency services personnel.
(7) Reports and records made available by the court to
the extent permitted by law or court rule.
(8) EMS records.
(9) Traffic fatality reports.
(10) [Narcotic treatment program] O pioid-assisted
treatment program incident reports.
(11) [Narcotic treatment program] Opioid-assisted
treatment program licensure surveys from the program
licensure division.
(12) Any other records necessary to conduct the review.
Section 8. Confidentiality.
(a) Maintenance.--The team shall maintain the
confidentiality of any identifying information obtained relating
to the death of an individual or adverse incidents regarding
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methadone or buprenorphine, including the name of the
individual, guardians, family members, caretakers or alleged or
suspected perpetrators of abuse, neglect or a criminal act.
* * *
(f) Attendance.--Nothing in this act shall prevent the team
from allowing the attendance of a person with information
relevant to a review at a methadone or buprenorphine death and
incident team review meeting.
* * *
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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