Sinema Continues Bipartisan Efforts to Address Opioid Epidemic

Apr 20, 2021

The Sinema-backed NOPAIN Act helps seniors access non-opioid alternatives

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema cosponsored the bipartisan NOPAIN Act—legislation helping Medicare patients access more non-opioid pain management alternatives and combating payment incentives that encouraged hospitals to prescribe opioids.
“Expanding access to less addictive medications for Arizonans cuts down on the over-prescription of opioids to vulnerable seniors, helping to keep our seniors healthy and combat the opioid epidemic in Arizona,” said Sinema.
Currently, hospitals receive the same payment from Medicare regardless of whether a physician prescribes an opioid or a non-opioid. As a result, hospitals rely on opioids, which are typically dispensed by a pharmacy after discharge at little or no cost to the hospital, but can be highly addictive. The bipartisan NOPAIN Act changes this policy by directing the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide separate Medicare reimbursement for non-opioid pain management treatments so hospitals are incentivized to prescribe non-opioid pain management treatments where it is appropriate and a safer choice for patients.
Sinema has been a champion to increase access to medication-assisted treatment for Arizonans suffering from substance abuse disorder in rural areas. Sinema cosponsored the bipartisan SUPPORT Act, which is now law, in the 115th Congress. This law increases access to medical treatment for opioid addiction and strengthen efforts to combat the opioid crisis, including the overprescribing of opioids to vulnerable seniors.