York City Health Bureau receives $560k to combat opioid abuse

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
The York City Health Bureau has received a received a large grant for its Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

The York City Health Bureau has received a three-year, $560,000 grant from the state to bolster its Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

The City Council on Tuesday approved the grant for the city's initiative, an extension of the state's own program that documents all filled prescriptions for controlled substances to ensure health care providers can safely prescribe drugs and stay on top of abuse.

"A big chunk of (the grant) is educating prescribers on best practices of safe prescribing of opioids," said Craig Walt, community health services supervisor for the bureau. "There is also a piece on implementing an awareness campaign to reduce substance abuse."

More:Phillips-Hill's prescription drug monitoring bill to be signed by governor

The bureau has struggled to receive state funding for its program prior to the grant, Walt said. 

But with the help of the funds, the bureau can better collaborate with the York Opioid Collaborative and other organizations and pay for a full-time community health specialist.

The grant does not require a match.

In February, a bill sponsored by state Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill, R-York Township, was signed into law expanding the state's program.

The legislation granted Medicaid managed care organizations, or MCOs, access to the state's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

Phillips-Hill's legislation will also require an MCO to notify the state Attorney General's Office if they suspect a drug is being prescribed fraudulently.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.