The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says 7.5 million people ages 12 and older in the U.S. have been diagnosed with dependence or abuse of illicit drugs in the past year. The Task Force, in reversing a 2008 decision, is seeking public comments before finalizing the recommendation.
The Washington Post: U.S. Health Panel Recommends Doctors Screen All Adults For Illicit Drug Use
The recommendation is the first time the panel has concluded there is enough evidence to support screening all adults. In 2008, it declined to do so. The guidance is important because the Affordable Care Act requires that services recommended by the task force be covered free or with very small co-payments. The proposed recommendations are open for public comment until Sept. 9, after which the task force will consider them for final approval. (Bernstein, 8/13)
The New York Times: Screen All Adult Patients For Drug Abuse, National Panel Urges
A national panel of health experts recommended on Tuesday that doctors screen all adult patients for illicit drug use, including improper use of prescription medications. But the group, the United States Preventive Services Task Force, stopped short of endorsing such screening for teenagers, a position that puts them at odds with major adolescent health groups. The panel, which is appointed by the federal Department of Health and Human Services but operates independently, said that its proposed guidelines are intended to combat alarmingly high rates of substance abuse in the United States. It cited a 2017 federal survey that found 1 in 10 Americans ages 18 and older said they were using illicit drugs or not using medications in ways that doctors intended. (Hoffman, 8/13)
The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Task Force Advises Doctors To Ask Adults About Illicit Drug Use
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force—an independent panel of medical experts whose recommendations can be pivotal for insurance plans under existing federal law—released a draft recommendation that doctors ask their patients about illicit drug use, including opioid painkillers, so they can be directed to treatment. The panel also wants doctors to inquire about drug use on patient questionnaires in doctors’ offices. (Burton, 8/13)
Los Angeles Times: All U.S. Adults Should Be Screened For Illicit Drug Use, Expert Panel Says
Questions about drug use should not only cover the possibility that a patient is taking illegal street drugs like cocaine or heroin, the task force said. They should also explore whether a patient might be sneaking pills from a family member’s pain medication or getting a boost from stimulants prescribed for a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. (Healy, 8/13)
Stat: For First Time, U.S. Panel Recommends Screening Adults For Illicit Drug Use
As new ways to identify and treat people who use opioids and other drugs emerge, an independent panel of experts is recommending that health care providers screen their adult patients for illicit drug use. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has determined, for the first time, that there is enough evidence to state with “moderate certainty” that screening adults for illicit substance use is overall beneficial. (Flaherty, 8/13)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Source : Kaiser Health