At White House opioid commission meeting, insurance industry gets a scolding

STAT – Patrick Kennedy, it seemed, had been waiting for a public opportunity to speak directly to the nation’s health insurers.

“The historic treatment of addiction and mental illness has been a separate and unequal process,” the former Rhode Island congressman and a member of the president’s opioid commission told a group of insurance executives on Friday. “All of you, as insurers and payers, have treated mental health and addiction as if it’s something other than the rest of medicine.”

The in-your-face scolding, delivered during a commission meeting, centered on the disparities between insurance coverage for addiction and other medical conditions. It underlined concern among other members of the commission that the insurance industry needs to take stronger action to help address the nation’s opioid crisis.

Read more at STAT.