Rick Scott seeks $50 million for opioid fight, 3-day limit on prescriptions

Florida Gov. Rick Scott will be in Palm Beach County today to announce his proposals to fight opioid abuse. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

Florida Gov. Rick Scott will be in Palm Beach County this afternoon to outline his proposals for an additional $50 million to fight the opioid crisis.

He’s also calling for a three-day limit on prescribed opioids “unless strict conditions are met for a seven-day supply.” He wants anyone prescribing or dispensing medication to participate in the Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which tracks prescriptions of controlled substances. And he wants more reforms to fight unlicensed pain management clinics.

Check out Christine Stapleton’s advance coverage here and read MyPalmBeachPost.com later today for complete coverage.

Aronberg: Fix Obamacare so unethical sober homes don’t exploit opioid crisis

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg in 2016. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg says in a Time magazine op-ed that unscrupulous drug treatment providers have manipulated Obamacare “to foster a cycle of relapse, rather than recovery” and cash in on the opioid crisis.

Democrat Aronberg — who’s been mentioned as a potential 2018 congressional candidate but now appears to be sticking with his prosecutor’s job — says Congress can address the problem by incentivizing treatment programs that demonstrate successful outcomes.

Drug relapses must be covered by insurers as an essential health benefit and cannot be excluded as a pre-existing condition under the Affordable Care Act and other federal laws, Aronberg writes. The requirement that children be allowed to stay on their parents’ insurance policies until age 26 also makes young addicts a target for unethical operators, Aronberg says.

Obamacare already reduces Medicare payments to hospitals with high readmission rates; Aronberg suggests a similar model for drug rehab programs.

“When policymakers decide the future of the ACA, they should extend Medicare’s outcome-based reimbursement model to the world of private insurance payments for drug rehabilitation,” Aronberg writes. “This could reward the best recovery centers while shuttering rogue operators who give false promises and illicit benefits to patients, then siphon precious resources into treating and then encouraging repeated relapses.”

Click here to read Aronberg’s entire article at time.com.