As the Obama Administration and public health officials push for a reduction in prescription opioids, they are facing some resistance from both patients and doctors, experts tell The New York Times.
Insurance coverage for alternative treatments is inconsistent, the article notes. The plans may not cover all treatments, or they may impose strict limits on coverage. Alternative pain treatments include acupuncture, yoga, chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation, massage, meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Medicaid does cover physical therapy for patients who gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act, but the level of coverage varies by state.
Matt Salo, Executive Director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, says benefits for alternative treatments are often the first to be eliminated when budgets are cut, because they are considered optional. A complicating factor is the widely varying amounts of evidence about the effectiveness of these treatments.