House committee to consider Kirchhofer’s bill creating new opioid treatment programs

Posted by: Samantha Holifield  | Tuesday, January 23, 2018 3:42 pm

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 23, 2018) — The House Committee on Public Health on Wednesday is set to hear State Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer’s (R-Beech Grove) legislation that would add nine new opioid treatment programs across the state.

Indiana currently has 18 treatment centers. Under Kirchhofer’s legislation, nine certified community mental health centers or general acute care hospitals could apply to the Division of Mental Health and Addiction to operate a new opioid treatment program after June 30, 2018. The Division of Mental Health and Addiction would have administrative and oversight responsibility of the programs. 

“In order to truly combat Indiana’s opioid epidemic, we have to treat addiction as the disease it is,” said Kirchhofer, chair of the House Committee on Public Health. “By pairing opioid treatment programs with local hospitals, Hoosiers will be able to receive additional wrap-around services, including medical treatment and counseling. These services will help those struggling with addiction to be more successful in their treatment program.”

Kirchhofer said the geographic location of these future programs will be an important consideration during the approval process as the state works to ensure every Hoosier is within an hour drive of an opioid treatment program facility. 

This proposal would also provide provisional credentialing to Hoosier mental health professionals who are qualified to treat those with addiction when they change employers. According to Kirchhofer, this would streamline the hiring process for addiction treatment providers, accelerating the delivery of qualified treatment to those who need it. 

The House Committee on Public Health will meet at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the House Chamber. House Bill 1007 is eligible for committee amendments and public testimony.

Visit iga.in.gov to watch the committee hearing live and to learn more about House Bill 1007.

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Rep. Kirchhofer (R-Beech Grove) represents House District 89,

which includes portions of Marion County.

A high-resolution photo of Kirchhofer can be downloaded by clicking here.