Support Act Advanced in House Vote, Senate Committee Markup

  • by AGD Washington Advocacy Representative
  • Jan 3, 2024
This week, the House and Senate both took major steps towards reauthorizing the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act, which was originally enacted in 2018 to comprehensively address to the opioid epidemic. On December 12, 2023, the House of Representatives passed the SUPPORT Act reauthorization, H.R. 4531, by a vote of 386-37. The Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee advanced their reauthorization of the SUPPORT Act, S. 3393, in a committee markup on December 12th, by a vote of 19-1. Language from the Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act, requiring health care providers, including dentists, to complete a one-time training on managing patients with substance use disorder (SUDs) as a condition of receiving or renewing a registration to prescribe controlled substances, was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, H.R. 2617. Under this statute, Congress explicitly deemed certain organizations as eligible to provide this training and also included a mechanism in which the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) could also deem organizations eligible to provide this training. However, SAMHSA has refused to use this power to approve any additional organizations. AGD is now explicitly included in both the House and Senate versions of the SUPPORT Act as an approved provider of this training. 

The Senate bill, S. 3393 can be found here.

The House bill, H.R. 4531 can be found here

Impact on General Dentistry: The required provider training must be provided by explicitly listed organizations or organizations that SAMHSA deems approved providers, an authority which the agency has not exercised. AGD was not initially listed as an approved training provider. However, as a result of robust lobbying and a legislative strategy which included numerous meetings with members of Congress, AGD has now been included as an approved training provider in both the House and Senate versions of the bill. We look forward to continuing to provide updates to the membership on future progress and next steps as this legislation continues the process of becoming law.