On May 16, 2018, the House Committee on Ways and Means ordered seven bills to be reported related to the nation’s response to the opioid epidemic. Because the bills are related, CBO is publishing a single comprehensive document that includes estimates for each piece of legislation.
H.R. 5775, the Providing Reliable Options for Patients and Educational Resources Act of 2018, would require prescription drug plans that provide coverage under Medicare Part D to furnish information to beneficiaries about the risks of opioid use and the availability of alternative treatments for pain. The bill also would require Medicare Advantage plans and prescription drug plans to provide information regarding safe disposal of controlled substances in home health risk assessments and medication therapy management programs, respectively. In CBO’s estimation, neither proposal would have a budgetary effect because those activities would not impose significant administrative costs on plans or federal agencies.
In addition, H.R. 5775 would restrict the use of certain pain-related questions on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, which is administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The survey is one measure used in CMS’s Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program, which adjusts payments to acute care hospitals on the basis of the quality of care they provide to Medicare beneficiaries. Because the VBP program is funded by reducing base payments to all hospitals, CBO estimates that changing the HCAHPS survey would not affect the total amount paid by Medicare.
On June 6, 2018, CBO issued an estimate for 59 opioid-related bills ordered reported by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on May 9 and May 17, 2018. Several of those bills contain provisions that are identical or similar to those in the legislation ordered reported by the Committee on Ways and Means, and for those provisions, CBO’s estimates are the same.