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. Doctors had to answer numerous questions about the patient’s current treatment and medication history. In some cases, authorization took several days.
The change in company policy is part of a national settlement announced by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
“Getting people into treatment faster, and when the window of opportunity is open, is vital to stemming the opioid addiction crisis,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “Other health insurers should take notice of Cigna’s actions to remove access barriers to treat opioid dependency and I encourage those insurers to follow suit.”