Introduced in House Passed House Introduced in Senate Passed Senate To President Became Law
02/06/2020          

Veterans HOPE Act

Date Version PDF TXT
02/06/2020 Introduced in House Open

            I 

116TH CONGRESS 
2D SESSION H. R. 5774 

To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to conduct a review on opioid 
overdose deaths among veterans, and for other purposes. 

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

FEBRUARY 6, 2020 
Mr. MURPHY of North Carolina (for himself and Mr. PETERSON) introduced 
the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs 

A BILL 
To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to conduct a 

review on opioid overdose deaths among veterans, and 
for other purposes. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-1

tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 2

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. 3

This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Veterans Heroin Over-4

dose Prevention Examination Act’’ or the ‘‘Veterans 5

HOPE Act’’. 6

SEC. 2. FINDINGS; SENSE OF CONGRESS. 7

(a) FINDINGS.—Congress finds the following: 8

(1) New research shows that a dramatic rise in 9

opioid overdose deaths among veterans in recent 10

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2 

•HR 5774 IH

years has happened increasingly among veterans 1

dying from heroin and synthetic opioids. 2

(2) Furthermore, patients of the Veterans 3

Health Administration of the Department of Vet-4

erans Affairs are seven more times likely to suffer 5

from an opioid use disorder than commercially in-6

sured patients. 7

(3) Using records of the Veterans Health Ad-8

ministration linked to National Death Index data, 9

the veterans’ rate of overdose deaths from all opioids 10

increased by 65 percent from 2010 to 2016, a rate 11

change that includes adjustments for demographic 12

changes in the veteran population over time. 13

(4) Furthermore, among all opioid overdose de-14

cedents, prescription opioid receipt within three 15

months before death declined from 54 percent in 16

2010 to 26 percent in 2016, yet veteran overdoses 17

resulting in death from heroin, synthetic opioids 18

such as fentanyl, and nonprescription opioids still 19

occurred. 20

(5) In fact, between 2010 and 2016, the vet-21

eran death rate from heroin or from taking multiple 22

opioids almost quintupled and the death rate from 23

synthetic opioids such as fentanyl increased by more 24

than five-fold. 25

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3 

•HR 5774 IH

(6) Trends would suggest that, while the aggre-1

gate rise in opioid overdose deaths among veterans 2

parallel those seen in the general population, the in-3

crease occurred mainly because of a rise in deaths 4

from nonprescribed sources such as heroin, fentanyl, 5

other powerful synthetic opioids, or multiple opioids 6

in concurrent use. 7

(b) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—It is the sense of Con-8

gress that further veterans overdose prevention efforts and 9

research should extend beyond patients actively receiving 10

opioid prescriptions. 11

SEC. 3. REVIEW OF DEATHS OF VETERANS RELATING TO 12

OPIOID USE. 13

(a) REVIEW.—Not later than 18 months after the 14

date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Vet-15

erans Affairs shall complete a review of the deaths of all 16

covered veterans who died from opioid overdoses during 17

the five-year period preceding the date of the enactment 18

for this Act. 19

(b) MATTERS INCLUDED.—The review under sub-20

section (a) shall include the following: 21

(1) The total number of covered veterans who 22

died from opioid overdoses during the five-year pe-23

riod preceding the date of the enactment of this Act. 24

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4 

•HR 5774 IH

(2) A summary of such veterans that includes 1

the age, sex, and race, and ethnicity of each such 2

veteran. 3

(3) A comprehensive list of the medications pre-4

scribed to, and found in the bodies of, such veterans 5

at the time of death, specifically listing any medica-6

tions that carry a black box warning, are off-label, 7

or are psychotropic. 8

(4) A summary of medical diagnoses by physi-9

cians of the Department of Veterans Affairs that led 10

to any prescribing of the medications referred to in 11

paragraph (3). 12

(5) The number of instances in which such a 13

veteran was concurrently on multiple medications 14

prescribed by physicians of the Department. 15

(6) A summary of— 16

(A) the average period that elapsed be-17

tween the last prescription opioid receipt and 18

the date of the death of such a veteran; and 19

(B) the cause of death for each such vet-20

eran. 21

(7) The percentage of such veterans with com-22

bat experience or trauma (including military sexual 23

trauma, traumatic brain injury, and post-traumatic 24

stress). 25

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5 

•HR 5774 IH

(8) Identification of medical facilities of the De-1

partment with high prescription and drug abuse 2

treatment rates for patients being treated at those 3

facilities. 4

(9) A description of policies of the Department 5

governing the prescribing of medications referred to 6

in paragraph (3). 7

(10) A description of efforts by the Secretary to 8

electronically track, collect, and properly dispose of 9

prescription opioids that are either unused, past the 10

prescription date, or not in the possession of the 11

properly prescribed patient. 12

(11) A description of any patterns apparent to 13

the Secretary based on the review. 14

(12) Recommendations for further action that 15

would improve the safety and well-being of veterans 16

and reduce opioid overdose rates for veterans, espe-17

cially concerning research regarding such veterans 18

who had not filed for a opioid prescription in the 19

three months before death by overdose. 20

(c) PUBLIC AVAILABILITY.—Not later than 45 days 21

after the completion of the review under subsection (a), 22

the Secretary shall— 23

(1) submit to Congress a report on the results 24

of the review; 25

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6 

•HR 5774 IH

(2) make such report publicly available; and 1

(3) provide to the Committees on Veterans’ Af-2

fairs of the House of Representatives and the Senate 3

a briefing on such review. 4

(d) DEFINITIONS.—In this section: 5

(1) The term ‘‘black box warning’’ means a 6

warning displayed within a box in the prescribing in-7

formation for drugs that have special problems, par-8

ticularly ones that may lead to death or serious in-9

jury. 10

(2) The term ‘‘covered veteran’’ means any vet-11

eran who received hospital care or medical services 12

furnished by the Department of Veterans Affairs 13

during the five-year period preceding the death of 14

the veteran. 15

Æ 

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Picture Name From Date Type
Gregory Murphy R-IN 02/06/2020 Sponsor
Gregory Murphy R-NC 02/06/2020 Sponsor
Collin Peterson D-MN 02/06/2020 Cosponsor
Fred Keller R-ME 03/02/2020 Cosponsor
Fred Keller R-PA 03/02/2020 Cosponsor
Vicky Hartzler R-MO 05/01/2020 Cosponsor
Andy Harris R-MD 02/25/2020 Cosponsor
Date Branch Action
03/02/2020 President Referred to the Subcommittee on Health.Action By: Committee on Veterans' Affairs
03/02/2020 President Referred to the Subcommittee on Health.Action By: Committee on Veterans' Affairs
02/06/2020 President Referred to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.Action By: House of Representatives
02/06/2020 President Introduced in HouseAction By: House of Representatives
Summary
Congress - Bill Number Major Title
Branch Vote Date Yes No Not Voting
Wiki





Bill TEXT Points.
This Bill has been listed with the following Subjects from Texts:
Death
(3)Using records of the Veterans Health Administration linked to National Death Index data, the veterans’ rate of overdose deaths from all opioids increased by 65 percent from 2010 to 2016, a rate change that includes adjustments for demographic changes in the veteran population over time

Department of Veterans Affairs
(2)Furthermore, patients of the Veterans Health Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs are seven more times likely to suffer from an opioid use disorder than commercially insured patients

Health
(2)Furthermore, patients of the Veterans Health Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs are seven more times likely to suffer from an opioid use disorder than commercially insured patients

Heroin
116 HR 5774 IH: Veterans Heroin Overdose Prevention Examination Act U


End Bill TEXT Points.
Date Bill Major Title
Committee Name
Subject Type