Insurance Company Changes Prior Authorization Policy For Opioid Addiction Treatment

One insurance company, Cigna Corp, has terminated their policy in requiring prior authorization for easier access to opioid addiction treatment.

A prior authorization occurs when a certain prescription drug is not covered by the insurance. Thus, the prescriber has to initiate the authorization by calling the insurance company, depending on which plan their patient is currently covered, to provide answers to patient's medical treatment and history in order for the drug or any medically related service to be fully or partially covered by the policy.

According to FierceHealthcare, Cigna's policy of ending the prior authorization for such drugs are only available for methadone and naltrexone. The new policy states that buprenorphine, which aids in opioid withdrawals, is part of the inclusion as well.

Cigna spokeswoman, Karen Eldred, once stated in Modern Healthcare that "[the change in policy] will help make it easier for [the patients] to access coverage for the medications they need." She also believes that the change will lessen the opioid addiction among the patients by 25% in the upcoming years.

The president-elect at the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), Kelly Clark, also announced in a statement with Modern Healthcare that "other players should follow Cigna's lead."

However, there is no news as of yet if other insurance companies will follow suit and aid in terminating opioid addiction.

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