Addiction Policy News

COSAM Supports Funding for Critical Addiction Treatment Programs

March 23, 2021


On March 23, the Colorado Society of Addiction Medicine (COSAM) submitted a letter in support of SB21-137, which would provide or extend funding for addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts in Colorado. Additionally, the bill would place requirements on managed care organizations (MCOs) which would reduce barriers to treatment. COSAM's letter emphasized the positive impact various programs included in the bill have had upon public health in Colorado, as well as the importance of removing insurance barriers to the treatment of addiction. 


Many of the programs contained in SB21-137 have a proven record of improving access to addiction treatment in Colorado. One program established in 2019 expanded access to MAT in two counties which historically struggled with providing addiction treatment services. Another program provides continuing education and training to clinicians and law enforcement on a variety of issues including addiction treatment and the use of opioid antagonists for opioid overdoses. A third program provides funding to increase addiction treatment and services in rural and frontier communities.


Additionally, the bill would require that MCOs respond to authorization requests within 24 hours and provide a specific justification for each denial of continued authorization of addiction treatment for all six dimensions of the the ASAM Criteria. The bill would also require MCOs to authorize intensive residential treatment and transitional residential treatment for a minimum duration of 7 and 14 days respectively. These requirements would significantly improve the transparency, responsiveness, and effectiveness of coverage of addiction treatment services provided by MCOs. 


Read the letter here.


Read the bill here