71.24.580  <<  71.24.585 >>   71.24.587

Opioid and substance use disorder treatmentState response.

(1)(a) The state of Washington declares that substance use disorders are medical conditions. Substance use disorders should be treated in a manner similar to other medical conditions by using interventions that are supported by evidence, including medications approved by the federal food and drug administration for the treatment of opioid use disorder. It is also recognized that many individuals have multiple substance use disorders, as well as histories of trauma, developmental disabilities, or mental health conditions. As such, all individuals experiencing opioid use disorder should be offered evidence-supported treatments to include federal food and drug administration approved medications for the treatment of opioid use disorders and behavioral counseling and social supports to address them. For behavioral health agencies, an effective plan of treatment for most persons with opioid use disorder integrates access to medications and psychosocial counseling and should be consistent with the American society of addiction medicine patient placement criteria. Providers must inform patients with opioid use disorder or substance use disorder of options to access federal food and drug administration approved medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder or substance use disorder. Because some such medications are controlled substances in chapter 69.50 RCW, the state of Washington maintains the legal obligation and right to regulate the uses of these medications in the treatment of opioid use disorder.
(b) The authority must work with other state agencies and stakeholders to develop value-based payment strategies to better support the ongoing care of persons with opioid and other substance use disorders.
(c) The department of corrections shall develop policies to prioritize services based on available grant funding and funds appropriated specifically for opioid use disorder treatment.
(2) The authority must promote the use of medication therapies and other evidence-based strategies to address the opioid epidemic in Washington state. Additionally, by January 1, 2020, the authority must prioritize state resources for the provision of treatment and recovery support services to inpatient and outpatient treatment settings that allow patients to start or maintain their use of medications for opioid use disorder while engaging in services.
(3) The state declares that the main goals of treatment for persons with opioid use disorder are the cessation of unprescribed opioid use, reduced morbidity, and restoration of the ability to lead a productive and fulfilling life.
(4) To achieve the goals in subsection (3) of this section, to promote public health and safety, and to promote the efficient and economic use of funding for the medicaid program under Title XIX of the social security act, the authority may seek, receive, and expend alternative sources of funding to support all aspects of the state's response to the opioid crisis.
(5) The authority must partner with the department of social and health services, the department of corrections, the department of health, the department of children, youth, and families, and any other agencies or entities the authority deems appropriate to develop a statewide approach to leveraging medicaid funding to treat opioid use disorder and provide emergency overdose treatment. Such alternative sources of funding may include:
(a) Seeking a section 1115 demonstration waiver from the federal centers for medicare and medicaid services to fund opioid treatment medications for persons eligible for medicaid at or during the time of incarceration and juvenile detention facilities; and
(b) Soliciting and receiving private funds, grants, and donations from any willing person or entity.
(6)(a) The authority shall work with the department of health to promote coordination between medication-assisted treatment prescribers, federally accredited opioid treatment programs, substance use disorder treatment facilities, and state-certified substance use disorder treatment agencies to:
(i) Increase patient choice in receiving medication and counseling;
(ii) Strengthen relationships between opioid use disorder providers;
(iii) Acknowledge and address the challenges presented for individuals needing treatment for multiple substance use disorders simultaneously; and
(iv) Study and review effective methods to identify and reach out to individuals with opioid use disorder who are at high risk of overdose and not involved in traditional systems of care, such as homeless individuals using syringe service programs, and connect such individuals to appropriate treatment.
(b) The authority must work with stakeholders to develop a set of recommendations to the governor and the legislature that:
(i) Propose, in addition to those required by federal law, a standard set of services needed to support the complex treatment needs of persons with opioid use disorder treated in opioid treatment programs;
(ii) Outline the components of and strategies needed to develop opioid treatment program centers of excellence that provide fully integrated care for persons with opioid use disorder;
(iii) Estimate the costs needed to support these models and recommendations for funding strategies that must be included in the report;
(iv) Outline strategies to increase the number of waivered health care providers approved for prescribing buprenorphine by the substance abuse and mental health services administration; and
(v) Outline strategies to lower the cost of federal food and drug administration approved products for the treatment of opioid use disorder.
(7) State agencies shall review and promote positive outcomes associated with the accountable communities of health funded opioid projects and local law enforcement and human services opioid collaborations as set forth in the Washington state interagency opioid working plan.
(8) The authority must partner with the department and other state agencies to replicate effective approaches for linking individuals who have had a nonfatal overdose with treatment opportunities, with a goal to connect certified peer counselors with individuals who have had a nonfatal overdose.
(9) State agencies must work together to increase outreach and education about opioid overdoses to non-English-speaking communities by developing a plan to conduct outreach and education to non-English-speaking communities. The department must submit a report on the outreach and education plan with recommendations for implementation to the appropriate legislative committees by July 1, 2020.


Declaration2019 c 314: See note following RCW 18.22.810.
FindingsIntent2017 c 297: See note following RCW 18.22.800.
Effective dates2016 sp.s. c 29: See note following RCW 71.05.760.
Short titleRight of action2016 sp.s. c 29: See notes following RCW 71.05.010.
Site Contents
Selected content listed in alphabetical order under each group