Read all the latest LAC News, Blogs, Events and Highlights here.

New Report: Improved Medication-Assisted Treatment Policy Could Combat Epidemic of 20 Million Americans with Untreated Addiction

WASHINGTON, DC – Following the reintroduction of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, Legal Action Center (LAC) released a report urging policymakers to take steps to address the growing opioid and heroin epidemic through more effective use of medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

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HHS proposes rule to implement parity in Medicaid Managed Care, CHIP, and Alternative Benefit Plans

LAC welcomes the strong provisions of the proposed rule, including provisions that apply much of the final parity rule for commercial insurance to Medicaid, expressly extend parity protections to people enrolled in managed care plans that carve out coverage for addiction and mental health treatment, and authorize states to include funding in their state plans to come into compliance with parity that is not subject to state plan limits.

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LAC President Paul Samuels Discusses Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction in Addiction Blog Interview

The interview followed the release of LAC’s new report, “Confronting an Epidemic: The Case for Eliminating Barriers to Medication-Assisted Treatment of Heroin and Opioid Addiction”. It includes a detailed discussion about the types of medications currently available for the treatment of opioid addiction, the barriers that exist that prevent people from receiving these life-saving treatments, and ways to expand access to MAT. It also reminds readers about the lives we can save by making these treatments more available.

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NY Attorney General Finds Excellus Denied Claims for Inpatient Addiction Services at Seven Times the Rate of Other Services, Violating Parity Law

March 18, 2015 – NY Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced a settlement with Excellus Health Plan for wrongly denying addiction and mental health benefits to thousands of New Yorkers in violation of state and federal parity laws. The settlement requires Excellus—which is part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and has 1.5 million members in upstate New York—to cover residential treatment for addiction and mental illness and overhaul its claims review process for these services. It also requires Excellus to provide notice of a new appeal right to 3,300 members whose claims for addiction and mental health services were previously denied. The new appeals could return up to $9 million to patients.

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ACT NOW! CALL YOUR NYS LEGISLATOR AND ASK THEM TO SUPPORT FUNDING FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE/HEALTH LINK

New York Action Alert

Tell the New York State Legislature to Fund Efforts to Link the Criminal Justice System to Health Services!

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Sebastian Solomon Promoted to LAC Director of New York State Policy

We are delighted to announce that Sebastian Solomon has been promoted to Director of New York State Policy at the Legal Action Center. Sebastian has been with LAC since 2001, most recently in the position of Policy Associate. Sebastian has fought tirelessly for the rights of New Yorkers for the past 14 years, and he will continue standing up for those in need of second chances in his new role.

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Legal Action Center Urges New York State to Take New and Bold Steps to Combat the Prescription Drug and Heroin Epidemic

New York State should take additional forceful, targeted actions to address the public health emergency of prescription drug and heroin dependence. “Using $298 million that has been allocated to its Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) for 2015, the State now has an opportunity to create even more momentum in its efforts to combat the scourge of addiction and prescription drug and heroin misuse,” according to Paul Samuels.

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Action Alert: Call-In Day 9/10/14! SUPPORT SECOND CHANCE REAUTHORIZATION!

The Second Chance Act provides critical reentry resources at a time when they are desperately needed. In 2009, federal and state prisons held over 1.6 million inmates—one in every 199 U.S. residents—and released 729,295 individuals back to their communities.

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ACT NOW! Action Alert: Tell SAMHSA to Protect Privacy Rights of Addiction Treatment Patients

Background: On May 12, 2014, the federal government announced that it is considering changing the 40-year-old regulations (known as 42 C.F.R. …

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LAC Files Class Action Lawsuits Against Background Screening Companies

The Legal Action Center has filed three class action lawsuits to send a message to criminal background screening companies, in …

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