U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin to Health Insurers: Step Up Response to Opioid Epidemic
Baldwin Joins Senate Colleagues in Writing Letters to 10 of Nation’s Top Health Insurers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin joined Senate colleagues in sending a letter, led by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Ed Markey (D-MA), asking the nation’s top health insurers to do their part to combat the opioid epidemic. In an effort to hold the insurance industry accountable, the Senators asked the companies to both review their existing policies in light of the epidemic and to take additional steps to make sure they are doing their part to help curb addiction.
“Unfortunately, it is often much harder for an individual to seek non-addictive pain medications or non-pharmacologic treatment options at the outset of treatment than it is to get a prescription opioid,” wrote the Senators in their letters. “In order to effectively address this ongoing epidemic, we believe insurance companies must take additional steps to ensure they are playing a more active role in addiction prevention and treatment and providing beneficiaries full access to the range of clinically appropriate services available.”
The letters also ask the companies what policies they have in place to make sure patients can access less addictive or non-addictive pain treatments, non-pharmacological treatments like physical therapy, and medication-assisted therapy. The Senators also pressed the companies to disclose whether they use internal controls to fight addiction, and how they identify a patient who might be struggling with addiction. The letter also asks for industry input on other factors Congress should be aware of as it considers additional legislation to address the nation’s addiction epidemic.
The Senators wrote to Aetna, AHIP, Anthem, BCBS, CareSource, Centene, Cigna, Humana, Kaiser, Molina and UnitedHealth. Read a copy of the letter here.
In addition to Senators Baldwin, Brown and Markey, Senators Pat Leahy (D-VT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Angus King (I-ME), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) also signed the letter.
- Maps Tell Story of City’s Overdose Crisis - Isiah Holmes - Jul 10th, 2020
- Wisconsin Accepting Applications to Pilot New Approach to Treating Substance Use Disorders - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Jul 6th, 2020
- Milwaukee County Headed for Record Overdoses in 2020 - Edgar Mendez - Jun 19th, 2020
- Retaliating Against a Witness Who Provided Information to Law Enforcement About Neopit Woman’s Drug Dealing Leads to Prison Sentence - U.S. Department of Justice - Jun 16th, 2020
- Grant extension of $500K good news for MKE’s efforts to combat opioid epidemic - Ald. Michael Murphy - Jun 10th, 2020
- Baldwin Requests Funding to Study Opioid Crisis - Isiah Holmes - May 22nd, 2020
- U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin and Jeanne Shaheen Lead Colleagues in Calling for Increased Opioid Funding in Coronavirus Relief Package - U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin - May 19th, 2020
- Award-Winning Wisconsin Enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Changes Prescribing Culture, Drives Down Opioid and Controlled Substance Prescribing - Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services - May 11th, 2020
- Opioid Treatment Facility Sees Uptick During Pandemic - Isiah Holmes - Apr 9th, 2020
- Wisconsin Physician Agrees to Pay Financial Penalties to Resolve Allegations That He Prescribed Opioids Illegally and Violated False Claims Act - U.S. Department of Justice - Apr 5th, 2020
Read more about Opioid Crisis here
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