NY Governor signs legislation to combat heroin, opioid crisis

(New York, NY – Insurance News and Markets) – In late June, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a comprehensive package of laws that limits opioid prescriptions to seven days and requires prescriber education on pain management.

The package also increases the number of beds available for treatment by nearly 300 and adds more than 2,300 slots for substance abuse disorder in the state.

The comprehensive package of bills was passed as part of the 2016 Legislative Session and takes steps to increase access to treatment, expand community prevention strategies, and limit the over-prescription of opioids in New York. The legislation includes several best practices and recommendations identified by the Governor’s Heroin and Opioid Task Force, and builds on the state’s aggressive efforts to break the cycle of heroin and opioid addiction and protect public health and safety.

“New York is leading the way forward in the fight against heroin and opioid addiction, and with this legislation, we are taking an affirmative stand for our families and communities who have suffered from this epidemic’s debilitating effects,” Governor Cuomo said. “I commend the Senate and the Assembly for their hard work and dedication to stopping this epidemic and creating a stronger and healthier New York.”

The new legislation includes several initiatives to address rampant heroin and opioid abuse across the state. The legislation will end prior insurance authorization for drug treatment medications, end prior insurance authorization for necessary inpatient treatment, and increase evaluation for drug-incapacitated individuals to 72 hours. Wraparound services will be expanded to support long-term recovery, and requires data collection on overdoses to assist the state.

Source: New York State, Department of Financial Services.