Drug overdoses have overtaken car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in New Jersey and nationally. This epidemic has prompted a bipartisan group of legislators to introduce a 21-bill package intended to change how the state tries to prevent and treat addiction.
As might be imagined, the package is controversial, not least because one of the bills would require all prescribers to participate in the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP), which tracks all prescriptions of dangerous drugs. But doctors and others have raised concerns about increased mandates and legal liabilities, while the state must balance potential benefits of treatment with additional costs.
The legislation would also require insurers to pick up the tab for medically necessary addiction treatment and would increase the amount that Medicaid reimburses providers for proven-effective treatments.
But there remains one essential question: