Prior authorization for substance use disorder treatment - SB 532

Prior authorization for substance use disorder treatment - SB 532

New Futures supports the removal of prior authorization requirements for inpatient Substance Use Disorder treatment. This bill would allow an individual with a Substance Use Disorder to immediately access appropriate inpatient services without delay. 

New Futures strongly supports SB 532-FN, which is a legislative outcome of the Joint Task Force on the Heroin and Opioid Epidemic. SB 532 is the companion bill to SB 576, which removed prior authorization requirements for the first two Substance Use Disorder outpatient treatment visits per episode of care.

While SB 576 marked a significant step forward, it failed to address current barriers to inpatient treatment. As a consequence, individuals with Substance Use Disorder in New Hampshire are only guaranteed timely access to the lowest levels of care available, regardless of whether their condition requires more intensive care. SB 532-FN fills this glaring gap by removing prior authorization for the first 72 hours of Substance Use Disorder inpatient treatment.

As many families know, when a loved one is at the point of agreeing to seek help, the window of hope is often short. The burden of gaining prior authorization for treatment often takes away valuable time, at the end of which an individual’s resolve to obtain treatment may have waned. New Futures has heard from numerous parents who have suffered through the experience of watching their children walk away from treatment while awaiting a prior authorization determination from their insurance carrier.

SB 532-FN seeks to address the insurance barriers encountered by many families and Substance Use Disorder treatment programs, by ensuring patients have timely access to inpatient treatment services. It is not the intent of this bill to require carriers to cover 28-day treatment without a review of medical necessity; rather this bill seeks to ensure an individual has preliminary access to services, so clinically appropriate treatment can be obtained without unnecessary delay.

sb 532 will be signed by governor hassan on monday june 20, 2016. The signing is open to the public and all are welcome to attend.

Bill Status
  • Committee
  • Public Hearing
  • Executive Session
  • Full Body Vote
  • Committee
  • Public Hearing
  • Executive Session
  • Full Body Vote