The Ohio Department of Medicaid announced that Medicaid will begin covering more medications to help with drug withdrawal symptoms, beginning in January.
People trying to recover from opioid addiction can suffer from “dope sickness”: body aches, vomiting, chills and more. These symptoms make resisting a relapse difficult.
In Ohio, Medicaid currently covers two drugs that help ease dope sickness: Suboxone and a generic drug with buprenorphine and naloxone.
There are many other drug options available but they require prior authorization – a process that can be time-consuming and sometimes denied altogether.
"This decreases the need for prior authorizations and standardizes treatment options across the entire Medicaid program," says Tom Betti of the Ohio Department of Medicaid.
The department hopes the change will help address Ohio’s continuing opioid crisis.
"We believe this is a very important step that will help put more individuals on the road to recovery," Betti says.
In 2017, about 18,000 Ohio Medicaid enrollees used medication-assisted treatment.