Legislation Aims to Remove Barriers to Drug Abuse Treatment in D - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Legislation Aims to Remove Barriers to Drug Abuse Treatment in Delaware

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DOVER, Del. -- Delaware lawmakers are considering changes to the state's insurance code that supporters say will assist people addicted to opiates get the treatment they need.
    
A package of bills was announced Wednesday at Legislative Hall in Dover and would enact changes like blocking private insurers from requiring pre-authorization and referral requirements for inpatient substance abuse. Officials also said insurers would be required to cover 14 days of necessary inpatient treatment for substance abuse.

Family members of people who have died because of overdoses and former drug abusers spoke at Wednesday's announcement in support of the legislation. MaryBeth Cichocki of Bear said her son Matthew died following years of opiate abuse that stemmed from medication he took for an injury and had difficulty finding treatment options.

"I do think that's why a lot of people don't seek treatment, because it's so hard to get," she said.

Officials like Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn also said they would seek to create a new oversight committee to help identify and target medical providers who are overprescribing prescription painkillers.  
Under another proposal, the attorney general's office could use consumer protection funds to give legal assistance to those challenging claim denials.

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