State Health Department Combats Opioid Abuse

Colorado's Department of Health Care and Financing is working to limit the amount of opioid prescriptions that are filled for individuals insured by Health First Colorado, the state's Medicaid program. Under a new policy, the first phase of which will be implemented on August 1, Health First Colorado will pay only for an initial 7-day supply of opioids, and then two additional refills with a 7-day supply. A fourth fill request will require health providers to obtain authorization from the Health Care Policy and Financing department and may require a consultation with a pain management physician.  A second phase of the policy involves lowering doses for people currently on a pain management regimen.