STATEMENT ON GOVERNOR’S VETO OF S.5935, TO PROHIBIT PRIOR AUTHORIZATION FOR MEDICATION-ASSISTED TREATMENT (MAT)

NEW YORK STATE COUNCIL FOR COMMUNITY BEHAVIORAL HEALTHCARE

STATEMENT ON GOVERNOR’S VETO OF S.5935, TO PROHIBIT PRIOR AUTHORIZATION FOR MEDICATION-ASSISTED TREATMENT (MAT)

 

JANUARY 2, 2020

 

Contact:
Lauri Cole
(518) 461-8200
lauri@nyscouncil.org

 

“The NYS Council was deeply disappointed to learn Governor Cuomo vetoed S.5935, a bill that would have prohibited prior authorization for certain addiction medications for Medicaid beneficiaries.  The Governor’s veto message points to one pharmaceutical manufacturers’ unwillingness to negotiate prices as a primary reason for the veto.  It is difficult to accept that Medicaid beneficiaries will now pay the price for this impasse, some with their lives.  

 

There are many disparities in one’s ability to secure mental health and/or substance use disorder services here in New York.  Far too frequently access to care depends on whether you have insurance and if so, whether it is Medicaid or a commercial plan.  For instance, New York continues to permit commercial insurance plans to pay providers vastly lower rates for the same exact services as those for Medicaid beneficiaries.  It all depends on the insurance card in the client’s pocket.  

 

We must resolve to address all barriers to on demand treatment for New Yorkers with serious addiction / mental health challenges.  The Governor’s soon-to-be-released executive budget should include a requirement for parity that results in equal access to behavioral health services regardless of insurance coverage.”