Health plans don't want patients on opioids. So what are they doing for pain?
The national effort to curb the opioid crisis faces another big potential obstacle — insurers who won't pay for less-addictive ways to control patients' pain. Patients seeking other pain treatment options often find that their insurers won't foot the bill or are forcing them to jump through maddening hoops to get coverage. Experts in and out of government worry that this will make it more difficult to reverse the deadly opioid crisis that killed more than 47,000 people nationwide in 2017, even as doctors cut back on opioid prescribing and state and federal governments step up efforts to prevent and treat addiction.
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