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RELEASE: House Passes Legislation to Increase Access to Substance Abuse Treatment

CONCORD – Today, the House joined the Senate and passed SB 158, legislation to eliminate the need for prior authorization for prescribed medications to treat substance abuse disorders when treatments for such disorders are covered by a health benefit plan. Senator Dan Feltes (D-Concord), prime sponsor of the bill, offered the following comments after the bill passed unanimously:

“Medication assisted treatment is critical for patients in recovery — it can mean the difference between life and death. Requiring medical professionals to apply for prior authorization before dispensing medication for treatment creates an unnecessary and costly burden to providers and staff and needlessly delays patient access to the resources they so desperately need. I’m very glad we were able to move the process forward today to help break down a senseless bureaucratic barrier to needed treatment.”