California asks insurance execs to stop prior authorization requirements for opioid treatment

By Marian Johns | Feb 19, 2019

SACRAMENTO — California's attorney general is asking 17 health insurance companies to do away with requirements for prior authorization for opioid abuse disorder patient's medication assisted treatment (MAT), arguing the requirements place a burden on those trying to get treatment. 

In a letter to the insurance executives, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra states that MAT medicines reduce the use and overdoses of opioid drugs and encourages an easy access to treatment and care for patients. 

“Individuals suffering from substance abuse disorders related to prescription opioids need access to treatment and care,” Becerra said in a statement. “California is committed to advancing solutions to protect the health and well-being of our residents.

"I urge insurance providers to join us in our efforts to give patients the treatment they need and deserve, without the burdens of lengthy medical paperwork and processes."  

According to the Attorney General's Office, California faces $4 million in health care costs due to opioid misuse, more than double the cost in any other state.  

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