Almost 90% of Medicare Part D insurance companies covered at least one buprenorphine product without restriction back in 2007—but in 2018, only 35% did so. Yet prescription opioids are covered—with no restrictions—in 93% to 100% of recently surveyed plans. The culprit appears to be controls insurance companies impose to hold down costs, such as prior authorization or step … [Read more...] about Medicare Part D Insurers Are Making the Opioid Crisis Even Worse: It’s Much Tougher Now to Prescribe Buprenorphine, Easier to Prescribe Opioids
The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act—the massive piece of legislation signed into law on October 24, 2018—is not going to take care of the prior authorization problem. That means countless patients with opioid use disorders (OUDs) will still be unable to access treatment when they need it. Some will relapse; some will die. That’s the opinion of Barbara … [Read more...] about Prior Authorizations of OUD Medications Are at Times Dangerous, and May Violate Federal Parity Laws; the SUPPORT Act Fails to Help
There are moves—important and funded ones—to support the expansion of medication-assisted treatment (MAT), but those moves apply mostly to office-based opioid treatment (OBOT) providers, not to opioid treatment programs (OTPs). “I suspect that the OBOTs are already the beneficiary of increased access to MAT, since they keep expanding the number of providers, who can be DATA … [Read more...] about Increasing Access to MAT: What Is the Role of Harm Reduction?
One of the most important initiatives occurring in methadone treatment for opioid use disorders (OUDs) is taking place in prisons and jails. In many states, a person who was addicted to opioids and then became incarcerated was left to undergo cold-turkey withdrawal, with no treatment. Now, states and localities are starting to recognize the cruelty and lack of logic of this … [Read more...] about Expanding OTPs Into Corrections in Maryland
As authorities start recognizing the need to treat opioid-dependent detainees in jails and prisons, rather than let them detox cold turkey, the importance of opioid treatment programs (OTPs) to corrections is growing. Last fall, a federal court granted a preliminary injunction giving methadone treatment to an incarcerated patient. This was the first federal court—it was in … [Read more...] about Corrections: Big Focus for OTPs