New Jersey - S2703

Restricts medical expense coverage for opioid drugs unless prescribing health care professional follows certain guidelines.

Introduced

October 21, 2016

Description

Bill summary is not available.

Our Position

Oppose

Commentary

New Jersey is currently considering S 2703, an act that we oppose. 

According to the bill, medical expense benefits are not to include coverage of opioid drugs unless the prescribing health care professional provides extensive documentation (to the insurer, we are to assume) that shows not only their clinical determination, but also demonstrates: a thorough medical history, physical examination, medical decision-making plan, determinations regarding other possible treatments, compliance with prescription monitoring program rules, compliance with strict dosage limits of no more than 90 MME/day, and compliance with strict patient warnings.

It is not appropriate that a profit-driven insurance company should be the ultimate gatekeeper as to whether or not a patient's pain is worthy of being treated, nor is it appropriate for that insurance company to essentially be the "babysitter" of highly trained clinicians.  Given private insurers' duty to their shareholders to maximize profits, this bill would undoubtedly result in many patients going without care due to the pre-existing stigmatization of pain, essentially validated by this bill.  While we share the desire to improve pain care and ensure that opioids are only used appropriately, it is only appropriate for the proper licensing agencies (not insurers) to have this sort of oversight over their licensees. 

You can read our full concerns in our letter to New Jersey's Senate Commerce Committee.  If you share our concerns, contact Senator Nellie Pou, Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee and/or Senator Raymond Lesniak, Vice-chair of the Senate Commerce Committee and the sponsor of the bill.

Original Sponsor 0

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