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NY State Senate Bill S4623 aims to expand rehab coverage for addicts

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New York’s State Senate is hard at work on a new bill (S4623) that would require healthcare insurers to cover treatment drug abuse and as well as alcohol addiction deemed necessary currently routinely denied despite being deemed necessary by physicians and rehabilitation experts.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City), is also designed to give the authority to make decisions regarding an addict’s treatment (such as the type of care and length) to medical professionals, taking them “out of the hands of insurance company officials,” according to the bill’s supporters, who state that too many times treatment is limited to 7 days of inpatient care.”

“There should be an assessment of needs to determine the appropriate level of care for individual patients,” stress Leslie Moran, senior vice president and spokeswoman for the New York Health Plan Association. “The problem is that the whole health care system is moving to try and avoid inpatient treatment and do more outpatient services, which “often leads to failure.”

Although New York has made considerable progress in reducing an epidemic of opiate pill abuse including hydrocodone and oxycodone, the “dwindling supply” has led to a huge surge in heroin use as cheap supplies continue to flood the area from Mexico and Columbian cartels. In fact, there have been more than 220 heroin-related deaths on Long Island alone since 2012.