On May 9 and May 17, 2018, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce ordered 59 bills to be reported related to the nation’s response to the opioid epidemic. Because of the large number of related bills ordered reported by the Committee, CBO is publishing a single comprehensive document that includes estimates for each piece of legislation.
H.R. 5603, the Access to Telehealth Services for Opioid Use Disorders Act, would permit the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to lift current geographic and other restrictions on coverage of telehealth services under Medicare for treatment of substance use disorders or co-occurring mental health disorders. Under the bill, the Secretary of HHS would be directed to encourage other payers to coordinate payments for opioid use disorder treatments and to evaluate the extent to which the demonstration reduces hospitalizations, increases the use of medication-assisted treatments, and improves the health outcomes of individuals with opioid use disorders during and after the demonstration. Based on current use of Medicare telehealth services for treatment of substance use disorders, CBO estimates that expanding that coverage would increase direct spending by $11 million over the 2019-2028 period.