Governor Wolf Removes Barriers to Opioid Addiction Treatment

On Thursday, Governor Wolf announced his latest effort in combating the heroin and opioid addiction epidemic in Pennsylvania. According to the Delaware County Daily Times:

“At a press conference at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland on Thursday, Gov. Tom Wolf announced an initiative to remove barriers to people receiving medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder.”

Medication-assisted treatment, known as MAT, is an FDA approved strategy shown to reduce addiction relapse and improve the chances of recovery. But there are currently prior authorization rules that can delay MAT, sometimes for up to 24 hours. This means patients are often blocked from receiving treatment right when they need it the most.

Understanding how critical immediate access to treatment is, Governor Wolf announced that Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program will be waiving prior authorization requirements for evidence-based opioid use disorder treatments going forward. “If even one person is delayed access to the treatment they need, it is one person too many,” he said.

This initiative is part of Governor Wolf’s larger effort to fight the heroin and opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania. In January, he declared the epidemic a statewide disaster emergency. Earlier this week, state officials provided a progress report on all they have accomplished thanks to the consolidated resources and intensified focus brought about by the declaration. The governor also announced this week that after just one year in operation, Pennsylvania’s Centers of Excellence have successfully increased the percentage of individuals suffering with opioid use disorder who are engaged in treatment.

Governor Wolf is committed to using every tool at his disposal to fight this public health emergency and help Pennsylvanians get the treatment they so desperately need.