April 12,2018

Press Contact:

202-224-4515, Katie Niederee (Hatch)

(202) 224-4515, Taylor Harvey (Wyden) 

Hatch, Wyden to Hold Finance Hearing on How to Improve Medicare, Medicaid Response to Opioid Epidemic

WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today announced the committee will convene a hearing on how Medicare, Medicaid and human services programs can better address the opioid epidemic and substance abuse disorders. The hearing follows Hatch and Wyden’s call for stakeholder feedback earlier this year. The hearing will take place on Thursday, April 19 at 10 a.m. in Dirksen Senate Office Building Room 215.

“The opioid epidemic has devastated individual lives, families and communities across the nation,” Hatch said. “It is no surprise that one in three Medicare beneficiaries receives an opioid prescription,  about a quarter of individuals with an opioid use disorder is covered under Medicaid, and more and more children are being placed in foster care as a result of the crisis. Ranking Member Wyden and I are committed to finding ways to improve these programs, and appreciate the feedback that we’ve received from stakeholders and committee members on how best to do so. We look forward to discussing many of these policy ideas during the hearing with the administration experts responsible for implementing much of the president’s strategy to reduce overdose deaths, prevent addiction from occurring, and treat those already suffering.”

“The opioid epidemic has hit communities across the country like a wrecking ball, and it’s going to require everybody, including Congress, to pull together to stem the tide,” Wyden said. “Medicare, Medicaid, and the human services programs the Finance Committee is responsible for have key roles in the ongoing effort to halt this epidemic. These programs need to be strengthened to bolster screening and treatment for those affected today, prevent this scourge from affecting even more families, and hold accountable those who fueled the epidemic.  I’m confident that members of the Finance Committee will bring fresh ideas and singular focus to this hearing so the committee can quickly take action.”

The witnesses at Thursday’s hearing will be:

• ADM Brett P. Giroir, M.D., Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
• Kim Brandt, Principal Deputy Administrator for Operations, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Who: Senate Finance Committee
What: “Tackling Opioid and Substance Use Disorders in Medicare, Medicaid, and Human Services Programs”
Where: 215 Dirksen Senate Office Building
              Washington, D.C. 20510
When: Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 10 a.m.

For media inquiries and additional information, including webcast and testimony details, please visit: http://finance.senate.gov/hearings.  

The Senate Finance Committee, the committee with the largest jurisdiction in either House of Congress, oversees more than 50 percent of the federal budget and has jurisdiction over large portions of the American healthcare system, including Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP.