Proposed New Jersey Legislation Would Put Key U/R Decisions in Provider Hands  E-mail
Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire

02/22/2015 -ATIN - There has been legislation introduced recently in New Jersey that seeks to end the dominance of commercial insurance payors when it comes to making key utilization review decisions regarding admitting behavioral health clients, including addictions patients. The New Jersey legislation mirrors in key ways laws that have been in effect in places like Pennsylvania, where for years these often life and death utilization review decisions have been more in the hands of provider medical personnel instead of payor medical personnel. According to press releases and news reports, the New Jersey legislation is being vigorously opposed by payor organizations which, according to at least one press release, testified before a key Senate hearing in the state capital of Trenton this week saying things like providers should not be given a blank check to admit addicts to treatment when research points to less expensive and equally effective alternatives.

Politically Popular

But one of the reasons the bills in New Jersey have been introduced, and others have been passed in places like Massachusetts, is that they are becoming very politically popular as the public is demanding better access to care. The bill in New Jersey would even allow properly accredited social workers, not just licensed physicians, the power to place addicts in treatment should they deem necessary. That access to addictions care has become key politically should be obvious to anyone who follows the goings on at the highest levels of New Jersey affairs. On a recent jaunt to England, one of the first things New Jersey Governor Chris Christie did was to tour a local addiction treatment center over there.

Falling on Deaf Ears?

This may be one reason why the usual payor blank check kind of talk may fall on deaf ears this time around and bills like the ones in New Jersey may start to get passed, and not just in relatively liberal states like New Jersey and Massachusetts.  The people want access to care and, as the picture here shows of New Jersey's Governor standing on Downing Street before he went off to visit a British addiction treatment center, it's an issue politicians are beginning to figure might have traction enough to sway people at the voting polls come election time.

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Ted Jackson


Comments (1)Add Comment
NJ Legistration
written by Rootie, March 19, 2015
Thanks for the informative article. I look forward to your magazine as you are always
a wealth of knowledge
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