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What are the changes under New York’s new opiate legislation?

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Yesterday, Governor Cuomo was in Western New York to sign a law to combat the heroin and opiate crisis in New York State. The new law follows the recent release of the Governor’s Heroin and Opioid Task Force’s final report and recommendations.

What are the changes?

The new law eliminates insurance roadblocks for those seeking addiction treatment. 

  • Prior auth will no longer be required to aloo for quicker access to inpatient treatment for as long as it is needed.
  • Prior auth will no longer be required to allow access to drug treatment medications such as Suboxone.
  • Insurance companies must use an objective state approved criteria to determine the level of care required for individuals suffering from substance use disorders.
  • Insurance must cover opiod-reversal medications, such as Nalaxone.

The new law provides improvements in treatment and access to treatment.

  • Families will now be able to seek 72-hours of emergency treatment (an increase from 48-hours) for their loved one to stabilize.  This will give professionals more time to connect families with longer-term treatment options.
  • Hospitals will now be required to provide follow-up treatment options upon discharge.
  • Trained professionals will be authorized to administer naloxone (Narcan) in emergency situations without risk to their professional license.
  • “Wrap around” services will help to prevent relapse. When people leave treatment, they will be connected with support services such as education and employment resources; legal services; social services; transportation assistance, childcare services; and peer support groups.

The new law helps with prevention.

  • The legislation lowers the limit for opioid prescriptions for acute pain from 30-days to no more than a 7-day supply, with exceptions for chronic pain and other conditions.
  • All physicians and prescribers will be required to participate in ongoing education on addiction and pain management.
  • Pharmacists will be required to provide easy to understand information on risks associated with addiction and opiate abuse.
  • Data will continuallly be collected on overdoses and prescriptions to assist in changes to legislation in the future.

For more details about the new legislation, check out this article provided by New York State.

And if you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, please reach out to us at (716) 831-1800.  Our team is standing by to help.