Trending News Today: Cigna Alters Prior Authorization Policy for Opioid Addiction Treatment

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

A man recently died from a strain of flesh-eating bacteria, Vibrio vulnificus, which entered his bloodstream through a cut on his leg only 4 days before death. The bacteria is found naturally in warm water with low salinity ideal for shellfish and oysters, and many people experience diarrhea and vomiting from contracting virbosis, according to The Washington Post. Scientists have linked an uptick of human diseases from vibrios because of global warming and increasing ocean temperatures.

Cigna recently changed a policy that requires prior authorization for individuals to receive medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction. This change will be seen across all states after New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman requested information about Cigna’s coverage policies to investigate potential treatment barriers, The Wall Street Journal reported. The insurer is expecting to reduce opioid misuse among their customers 25% by 2019, since the policy change will make receiving treatment easier.

The DEA has started an aggressive campaign to stop the misuse of opioids that target wholesale companies about 10 years ago. After a meeting between the deputy attorney general and the DEA Chief of the Office of Diversion Control regarding a case against 2 large drug companies, the DEA began delaying and inhibiting enforcement action, according to The Washington Post. The diversion office’s number of cases significantly decreased after this meeting as well, which could be seen as a reason why opioid misuse is so high today.