Wisconsin makes treatments for substance abuse more accessible

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – An agreement made between healthcare providers and insurance companies is making it easier to receive addiction treatment.

In Wisconsin, medication-assisted treatments for substance abuse will no longer require prior authorization from insurance companies.

In the past, before a doctor could prescribe a medication to treat addiction, most insurance companies required prior to authorization from the patient’s insurance.

The slow process makes overcoming substance abuse difficult, often causing patients to relapse.

One health professional says expanding access to medication-assisted treatments a big step for Wisconsin.

“The message that really needs to be out there is that medication really can help with both opioid use disorder and alcohol use disorder. This can be an important tool that I’ve seen save lives,” said Laurie Logan M.D., Director of Addiction Services, Mayo Clinic Health System.

According to state representatives, there is no written agreement or law, just a commitment between insurance companies, health providers, and others to make this change.