The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last month on the Affordable Care Act is a victory for people with substance use disorder and mental health needs, according to the Legal Action Center, an advocacy group that provides legal assistance to people in recovery or still suffering from addiction. But much work remains to be done at the state level to assure adequate coverage, the group says.
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Implementation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 has been slow, but there are small signs of progress, according to a coalition that aims to ensure that the law is properly enforced.
Costs related to narcotic painkillers are growing for workplace insurers, which are currently spending an estimated $1.4 billion on the drugs, The New York Times reports.
Stolen or fabricated prescription pads are contributing to the surge in prescription drug abuse, experts say. There is a growing call for computer systems that directly link doctors to pharmacies, to avoid this problem.
A Medicaid provider in Kentucky has announced it will stop paying for the opioid addiction medication buprenorphine. A doctor who prescribes the medication says the company’s decision could lead to serious complications, relapse and even overdose deaths.
A Massachusetts law passed in 2006 that expanded insurance coverage did not lead to an increase in the number of state residents who received inpatient treatment for drug and alcohol abuse at state-contracted facilities, according to a new study.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the state’s largest health insurer, is instituting a policy to reduce prescription drug abuse, by limiting the amount of pain medicine most patients can get without prior approval from the company.
Some emergency departments do not test patients’ blood or urine for alcohol because of issues with insurance payments, Kaiser Health News reports. In more than half of states, insurers are allowed to deny payment for medical services related to alcohol or drug use.
Offering low-dose CT scans to longtime smokers to screen them for lung cancer would reduce the death toll of the disease by an estimated 15,000 lives a year in the United States, a new study concludes.
As the cost of health care continues to skyrocket, HR professionals and their employers are constantly searching for new ways to keep costs under control and as manageable as possible. An employer- sponsored wellness program is one way to do this, explains Anna Spriggs of Legacy.