Jackson County officials are watching developments in Jefferson City that could greatly affect the county’s finances as well as efforts to limit opioid addiction.
The county, Independence and Kansas City have joined other large counties and cities in the state to create a prescription drug database, giving doctors a clearer picture of what medications patients are taking from other doctors and, hopefully, getting a handle on addicts who engage in “doctor shopping” to get drugs such as Oxycodone.
Missouri is the only state that doesn’t have a statewide program to do that. Legislation is introduced annually but dies in the Senate. The leading opponent of the idea, Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, has a bill to set up a voluntary system that would be harder for doctors to use, and it would quash the cities’ and counties’ program.
“This is the watered-down version of PDMP (a prescription drug monitoring program),” lobbyist Fred Dreiling told county legislators this week.
Another bill, to create the program advocates have pushed for years, remains stuck in the House, Dreiling added. Legislators return to Jefferson City on Monday, and the pace of legislating picks up from now until the May 12 adjournment.
“It’s got a long way to go,” Dreiling said of the House PDMP bill.
County officials also hope legislators can give them some relief on jail costs. Jackson County spends more than $80 a day per person to house jail inmates, who are held on state charges. But the state only reimburses counties for those costs incurred after a conviction.
That reimbursement, raised slightly last year, is $22.58 a day, though the county is only getting $21.08 because Gov. Eric Greitens has ordered some state money withheld to keep spending under control.
There is a bill to raise that rate to $28.88 per day, which Dreiling said could make a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for Jackson County.