Stakeholders in every state can use this new resource with legislators, regulators, and other officials to pursue policies that are working to help patients. States have taken a myriad of approaches to expand treatment for patients with a substance use disorder, and the toolkit provides evidence and feedback on what’s working where and why.
To ensure access to evidence-based treatment, the toolkit recommends states expand treatment of opioid use disorder in Medicaid and commercial insurance and remove barriers, such as prior authorization and other utilization management policies. Additionally, treatment must address disparities and the needs of all patients equitably, including vulnerable populations.
The toolkit also highlights the importance of enforcing laws on mental health and substance use disorder parity, telehealth, and access to the full continuum of pain care options. States have taken several approaches to making naloxone more affordable and available. The AMA and Manatt Health released a national policy roadmap in December 2020 with detailed recommendations for policymakers to take action.
“Our extensive toolkit demonstrates that states are engaged and making progress on multiple fronts in battling the drug overdose epidemic,” said Joel Ario, a managing director at Manatt and former state insurance commissioner. “Yet the death count continues to rise, making it imperative that legislators and regulators in every state learn from each other and double down on the strategies – from coverage mandates to naloxone distribution – that have proven effective in saving lives.”