This piece comes to us courtesy of Stateline. Stateline is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts that provides daily reporting and analysis on trends in state policy.
For governors and lawmakers in nearly every state, the soaring overdose death toll from prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl has become an urgent priority.
Lawmakers in dozens of states took decisive action this year to stanch the flow of prescription pain drugs and help those addicted to them. Roughly 2.5 millionAmericans are addicted to opioids, and more than 28,000 people died of overdosesof painkillers or heroin in 2014, the highest toll ever.
of people seeking them, according to NCSL.
New York’s new addiction treatment law, for example, requires insurers to give people seeking treatment immediate access to care and to cover at least 14 days of continuous treatment before requiring authorization from providers. It also requires health care providers to use objective, state-approved criteria to determine what level of care a patient needs.
To protect patients from potential overdose, New York’s new law also allows families to seek 72 hours of emergency treatment, up from 48 hours.
Some states, including California, Indiana and Missouri, adopted new Medicaid rules to ensure enrollees with drug addictions have access to high quality treatment options, including medications, residential care and outpatient counseling and therapy, according to the National Association of Medicaid Directors.
An influx of federal money could prompt more states to adopt addiction treatment measures. President Obama’s proposed 2017 budget includes $1.1 billion to help states make medication-assisted treatment more available to opioid addicts.
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