Translating local innovation into statewide policy: Lessons from a medications for addiction treatment (MAT) prior authorization pilot in Camden, New Jersey

Care management & redesign Strengthening ecosystems of care Behavioral health & addiction Policy & advocacy

Between 2016 and 2017, New Jersey had the second highest increase in overdose deaths in the country. Improving access to medications for addiction treatment (MAT) is a critical tool in preventing these avoidable deaths. Having identified prior authorization as a barrier to accessing buprenorphine — one form of MAT — the Camden Coalition worked with local stakeholders to implement a pilot program that eliminated prior authorization for this life-saving medication in certain circumstances. The successful results of the pilot, along with collective advocacy at the state level, led to the removal of this administrative barrier for Medicaid beneficiaries across the state of New Jersey earlier this year. 

This Camden Coalition brief outlines the nuts and bolts of the pilot program and our work alongside partners at the local and state levels to translate the pilot into successful statewide policy.