Kaiser Health News interviewed two unlikely bedfellows in the fight against opioid abuse – Newt Gingrich (a possible Trump VP pick) and Patrick Kennedy (former Democratic Congressman from Rhode Island). The pair is pushing for policy changes that would shift how the health system treats addiction and how that treatment is financed. Initiatives include allowing more doctors to prescribe opioid reduction therapy (e.g. medication assisted treatment) and making insurance plans pay more generously for that kind of care. Of note: the Obama administration announced yesterday that doctors will be able to legally treat and prescribe buprenorphine (an opioid used to prevent craving and withdrawal but that does not produce a high) to nearly three times as many patients as before (275 versus 100).
Read the interview here.