Insurance Barriers to Addiction Medication Putting People at Risk of Death: Doctors

Addiction doctors say insurance barriers to opioid addiction treatment are putting people’s lives at risk, USA Today reports.

“The fact that you have to fight with these insurance companies and jump through a thousand different hoops – it can be a matter of life and death,” said Kaitlyn Mishlen, research clinician at Columbia University Department of Psychiatry.

A new study by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics and the Advocates for Opioid Recovery found that of the 10 states with the highest prescription opioid use relative to their population, eight states have a lower than national average level of Medicaid funding for buprenorphine use.

The study found patient access to – and reimbursement for – buprenorphine medications used in addiction recovery programs varies widely across states and “suggests inconsistent and suboptimal approaches in many parts of the country.”

Want to learn more about medication-assisted treatment? Read the Partnership’s Medication-Assisted Treatment eBook.

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    Derek R. Dalton, LAC

    September 30, 2016 at 1:17 PM

    Studies also show that Medication-assisted treatment success rates are extremely dependent on BOTH the use of buprenorphine AND more traditional CBT Therapy treatments – thus the term “Medication-ASSISTED TREATMENT”. Unfortunately, we have been seeing a great many more “unscrupulous” physicians and exclusive “Bup Only” programs popping up who only seem interested in the money, essentially becoming the client’s “new LEGAL dope dealer”. I have clients who have been in such programs for 6 plus years, still jobless, in and out of jail, in emergency rooms, etc… and still now referral over to our traditional CD treatment program.

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