Beacon Transcript — Opioid addiction will now be treated faster as following the New York AG’s investigation, Cigna rules out the need for preauthorization.
Cigna Corp. had previously instated a rule that required any physician wishing to prescribe a MAT, or medication-assistant treatment, to a patient that suffered from an opioid addiction would have to fill out quite a number of patient treatment and former medication history.
As there was quite a big load of information to assess and process, it could take up to several days before the physician was allowed to prescribe the much-needed medication.
Opioid addiction is usually treated with naloxone, buprenorphine, and also counseling. This type of treatment has been approved and is widely supported as it has had its effectiveness recognized even by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Cigna, who is an insurer based in Bloomfield, Connecticut, will change its treatment policy after Eric Schneiderman, the Attorney General of New York set out to determine if the requirements imposed on the effectiveness of the treatment.
Following the investigation, Cigna decided to rule out the need for the physicians’ prior authorization when prescribing MAT, thus allowing for a faster and consequently more effective treatment.
The decision will affect and target all the insurer company’s clients benefiting from a commercial plan.
The new decision will also come to complement Cigna’s no prior authorization needed class of treatments, which already included naltrexone, methadone, and various other anti-addiction medications. Buprenorphine will now be part of this category.
Karen Eldred, Cigna’s spokeswoman declared that the new measure will facilitate the patients’ access to the medication-assisted treatment they need.
She also declared that the company is hoping that the new rule, which allows for a faster treatment, will also contribute to a 25 percent reduction of opioid addiction amongst its users over the next three years-time period.
The insurer company’s decision has already been praised by a number of concerned authorities, as AG Schneiderman declared his hope that other insurers would follow suit and remove the constraints placed on opioid addiction.
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse is also amongst those who have praised Cigna for their initiative.
In a statement released prior to the company’s decision, the center had been expressing its concern over the period lost in obtaining the needed authorizations as it feared that it may possibly cause the patients’ relapse. Thus, it considered that time was of the essence as a relapse could have deadly implications for an opioid addict.
Image Source: Wikimedia