Task force makes recommendations to tackle heroin, opioids

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Heroin and Opioids Task Force recommends that insurance companies be required to pay for 21 days of rehab and that patients not need preauthorization to be treated.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Heroin and Opioids Task Force recommends that insurance companies be required to pay for 21 days of rehab and that patients not need preauthorization to be treated. (6/10/16)

FRANKLIN SQUARE - A state task force has issued recommendations for the next steps in New York’s battle against heroin and opioid addiction.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Heroin and Opioids Task Force recommends that insurance companies be required to pay for 21 days of rehab and that patients not need preauthorization to be treated.

“One of the things about preauthorization is it can not only take hours, but days, and in that time, a person can change their mind five or six times about whether or not they're going to go into treatment,” says Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, of the Family and Children’s Association.

Another recommendation is that opiate prescriptions be limited to a seven-day supply instead of 30.

“Quite frankly, if you need more than seven days’ worth of OxyContin or Vicodin, you should be back at your health care professional so they can figure out what's going on and why you're still in pain,” says Reynolds.

The recommendations are currently being drafted into legislation, which is expected to pass both the Senate and Assembly within the next week. If that happens, it will become law by the end of the summer.

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