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Health Care Policy and Law
June 6, 2022

Reexamining Medicaid Patient Review and Restriction Programs Amid the Evolving Opioid Epidemic

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City
  • 2Program for Addiction Research, Clinical Care, Knowledge and Advocacy (PARCKA), Division of Epidemiology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City
  • 3Vulnerable Veteran Innovative Patient-Aligned Care Team (VIP) Initiative; Informatics, Decision-Enhancement, and Analytic Sciences (IDEAS) Center, VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 4Department of Mental Health Law and Policy, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, University of South Florida, Tampa
JAMA Intern Med. 2022;182(8):789-790. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2022.1952

In 2021, deaths from drug overdose exceeded 100 000 in the US, a reflection of the rapid increase in the prevalence of illicit synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl and its analogues. Mortality related to fentanyl has surpassed that from prescription opioids and heroin; in 2021, it accounted for 82% of opioid overdose deaths.1 As the opioid epidemic evolves, policies and guidelines should adapt to this new reality. Patients require access to evidence-based and equitable treatment without unnecessary barriers to receiving care.

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