First Look: Preventing Overdoses While in Emergency Departments Act of 2018 (S 2610, 115th Congress)

The Policy

What it does

Requires the awarding of grants to health care sites to enhance treatment options for discharged drug overdose patients.


S 2610, the Preventing Overdoses While in Emergency Departments Act of 2018, requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create a program to improve care and available treatments for patients with a substance use disorder following discharge from a hospital after drug overdose.

Up to twenty grants lasting each at least two years will be created to fund programs at eligible health care sites, and the HHS must preference sites such as critical access hospitals, low volume community hospitals, or hospitals in a region with an overdose rate higher than the national average. The awarded grants must go toward establishing policies for the provision of overdose reversal medication, administering medication-assisted treatment in a hospital, referring discharged patients to evidence-based treatment, and developing best practices to treat overdoses. The grants can also go toward hiring medical professionals specializing in substance use disorders, establishing integrated models of care for individuals who experienced an overdose, and increasing the availability of treatment options.

Health care sites that won awards are required to submit an annual report to HHS, and the HHS will create a report after the conclusion of the program stating the program findings.  


The Science

The Debate