Non-opioid treatment bill signed into law

PROVIDENCE — Gov. Gina Raimondo has signed into law legislation that would require insurers to cover non-opioid based chiropractic and osteopathic treatments for pain for people with substance-use disorders.

The legislation (S-0789Aaa and H-6124Aaa) introduced by Sen. Frank Lombardo III, D-Johnston, and Rep. Gregg Amore, D-East Providence, requires patients with substance-use disorders to be given access to evidence-based non-opioid pain treatment.

Patients seeking the treatments must have insurance coverage, and the chiropractic care and osteopathic manipulative treatments must be deemed medically necessary and be performed by licensed individuals.

“With the opioid crisis worsening every day, it is imperative that insurance companies cover alternate and effective treatments for chronic pain, especially in the case of patients with substance use problems,” Lombardo said in a statement released Tuesday.

Amore said: “It is no secret that opioids have been overprescribed in our state and that has led to a health epidemic. For many patients, particularly those with substance abuse problems, opioids are the wrong choice to manage pain. This bill will ensure that other proven treatments for pain are covered by insurance, hopefully lessening the impact of opioid abuse in our state.”

The law is effective April 1, 2018.


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