Currently, Rhode Islanders seeking treatment for opioid addiction must have their doctors coordinate with insurance companies before they can get prescriptions for medications like Suboxone and buprenorphine. These drugs treat patients suffering from opioid dependence.
Now, four of Rhode Island’s major commercial health insurers are ending the practice, which has been criticized for delaying patient treatment.
The state’s arms of Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Neighborhood Health Plan, Tufts, and United Health Care have struck an agreement with the state’s Health Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Hittner to end the pre-approval process. Hittner says the move will improve access to the necessary medications.