Herrera Beutler Helps Lead Legislation Aimed at Preventing Opioid Deaths


Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, along with Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin, Maryland Rep. David Trone, Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, New Hampshire Rep. Ann Kuster and North Carolina Rep. G.K. Butterfield, has recently introduced legislation to help overdose victims by closing an information gap that keeps prescribers uninformed about a patient who overdoses.

“Long before COVID exacerbated the issue, the opioid epidemic was already touching every corner of Southwest Washington. That’s why I’m helping introduce the bipartisan IMPROVE Addiction Care Act which will provide prescribers with the information they need to help protect patients who have suffered from a nonfatal overdose, improve provider education on the risks of prescribing opioids, and connect addiction survivors to treatment options,” Herrera Beutler said. “I’m pleased to work with my colleagues on this crucial legislation to advance our goal of ending the destruction caused by opioid addiction.”

The Improving Medicaid Programs’ Response to Overdose Victims and Enhancing (IMPROVE) Addiction Care Act would require state Medicaid programs to use jointly funded drug utilization review programs to increase access to treatment and boost safeguards for those on Medicaid who have experienced a non-fatal, opioid-related overdose, according to a press release from Herrera Beutler’s office. 

The IMPROVE Addiction Care Act would require that state Medicaid programs use their existing drug utilization review (DUR) programs to:

• Alert prescribers to their patient’s previous nonfatal and fatal overdose

• Provide notice to providers if opioids prescribed to a patient were involved in an overdose

• Connect survivors to treatment after identifying individuals who have suffered a nonfatal, opioid-related overdose

• Perform ongoing reviews of prescribing patterns and offer provider education