Aetna is the latest health insurer to announce it will no longer require preauthorization for opioid addiction treatment, Kaiser Health News reports. The change takes effect this month and applies to commercial plans.
All patients on long-term opioid treatment should be co-prescribed the opioid overdose antidote naloxone, even if they are not considered to be at high risk of an opioid overdose, according to the director of the University of New Mexico Pain Center.
A new injectable treatment for opioid addiction showed promise in a late-stage study, according to The Wall Street Journal. The study involved weekly and monthly injections of buprenorphine for the treatment of moderate to severe opioid use disorder.
A new program in Pennsylvania called “warm handoff” directly transfers overdose survivors from the hospital emergency department to a drug treatment provider. The program, developed by the state’s Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), is designed to avoid merely giving survivors a phone number to call or setting up a subsequent appointment a day or two later.
The health insurance company Cigna will no longer require doctors to get preauthorization before prescribing opioid addiction medications, USA Today reports. Until now, Cigna has required doctors to submit a preauthorization form when requesting medication-assisted treatment with buprenorphine.
We lose nearly 130 people a day to drug overdoses. It is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, and the loss is felt most acutely by the families left behind. By doing a better job of helping families and their addicted children, we can most effectively reduce these deaths and the accompanying pain and suffering, explains Tom Hedrick, founding member of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.