New Jersey Senate Committee Votes to End Prior Authorization for Medication Assisted Treatment Under Medicaid

Press Release February 7, 2019
Media Contact

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Roseanne Scotti 609-610-8243

Trenton, NJ – Today, the New Jersey Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee voted in support of ending prior authorizations for medication assisted treatment (MAT) under Medicaid. Evidence demonstrates that MAT for opioid use disorder (i.e. methadone, buprenorphine) increases treatment retention while reducing morbidity and mortality, opioid use, overdoses, and risk behaviors that transmit HIV and hepatitis C.  

Roseanne Scotti, New Jersey State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, issued the following statement after today’s vote:

“Today’s vote to end prior authorizations for medication assisted treatment under Medicaid will bring much-needed relief to patients across New Jersey. This bill will bring Medicaid plans in-line with commercial health plans – which were banned from requiring prior authorizations for MAT in 2017 – and allow all people to access life-saving treatment in a timely manner. Requiring prior authorization can delay addiction treatment, potentially resulting in a missed opportunity to intervene with patients who are struggling with substance use disorders and seeking treatment.”

“This is a critically important issue when New Jersey is losing more than 3,000 people a year to drug overdose. Until the day comes when getting treatment is as easy as getting opioids, we will continue to lose family, friends, neighbors and loved ones to preventable opioid related causes. We look forward to continuing our work with the Legislature to expand access to evidence-based treatment in New Jersey.”

Click here for more background on the Overdose Prevention Campaign’s work to prevent overdoses in New Jersey.


A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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