The Medical Society of Delaware, Psychiatric Society of Delaware, American Psychiatric Association and American Medical Association are urging the Delaware Legislature to vote in favor of House Bill 220 to help begin to put an end to health insurer policies of prior authorization barriers for access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder.
HB 220 would remove prior authorization for some forms of MAT and ensure MAT is available on the lowest cost-sharing tier for a health plan’s formulary, ensuring access to hundreds of Delawareans in need of treatment.
“Delaware’s physicians support HB 220 because it will save lives,” said MSD President Andrew W. Dahlke. “This is a bill that will remove delays to evidence-based treatment — an essential policy step to reversing our state’s opioid epidemic.”
“When patients have to wait hours or even days to receive MAT, it places their recovery at risk,” said APA President Bruce Schwartz. “In addition to saving lives, MAT helps keep people out of jail, in jobs, and with their families — essential components to whole-person recovery.”
“At least one dozen states in the past two years have removed prior authorization for MAT because they have come to see that there is no medical or other reason to delay or deny care for MAT,” said AMA President Patrice A. Harris. “We urge the Delaware House of Representatives to approve HB 220 and for the Senate to take immediate action.”
This bipartisan legislation is being championed by the respective House and Senate Health Committee chairs, Rep. David Bentz and Sen. Bryan Townsend. It awaits action on the House floor before it can move to and through the Senate by the closing of legislation action on June 30.