DES PLAINES, Ill. (December 7, 2016) – The Emergency Nurses Association applauds the U.S. Senate for overwhelmingly passing comprehensive mental healthcare reform and funding to address the opioid and heroin crisis as part of the 21st Century Cures Act. The legislation passed today on a 94-5 vote.
Key elements in the bill that will improve the treatment of those suffering from serious mental illnesses include the elimination of the prohibition on same-day billing for mental health and primary care services, additional resources for suicide prevention and expanded crisis intervention training for first responders.
Importantly, the legislation also contains $1 billion in grants to states to expand their prescription opioid and heroin abuse prevention and treatment initiatives, such as the training of health care providers, improving prescription drug monitoring programs, implementing prevention activities and expanding access to opioid treatment programs.
The 21st Century Cures Act will accelerate the development of new drugs by making reforms to the Food and Drug Administration’s approval process and providing additional funds for medical research.
The legislation will now be sent to President Obama, who has indicated he will sign it into law.
About the Emergency Nurses Association
The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) is the premier professional nursing association dedicated to defining the future of emergency nursing through advocacy, education, research, innovation, and leadership. Founded in 1970, ENA has proven to be an indispensable resource to the global emergency nursing community. With more than 42,000 members worldwide, ENA advocates for patient safety, develops industry-leading practice standards and guidelines, and guides emergency healthcare public policy. ENA members have expertise in triage, patient care, disaster preparedness, and all aspects of emergency care. Additional information is available at www.ena.org.
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