GA Legislator proposes bill that forces insurers to lower costs of pain management alternatives

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GEORGIA (WDEF)- Thousands died after overdosing on opioids this last year, bringing health officials to call it the leading cause of death in Tennessee for 20-18.

Dr. Josh Paxton says, “we have to get our lawmakers to give this a top priority. 134 deaths a day. If there was a car seat or a recall on a car or something of that nature that was causing 134 deaths a day, can’t you imagine that it would go to the top of the legislative docket which is exactly why Senate Bill 128 absolutely has to be.”

This legislation is essentially forcing insurance companies to level the cost making your primary health cost equals pain management costs.

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If it costs $10 to go see your primary care doctor, the specialists costs would be lowered as well. They hope that before being prescribed opioids, which can lead to dependence and addiction, you can afford alternative pain management methods.

The difference would be that now specialists like chiropractors, physical therapist or occupational therapists would cost the same as a primary care physician essentially removing a financial barrier to chiropractic care.

Vanessa Spotts, with the Hamilton County Coalition says they are grateful being “able to provide in someway for these individuals who may want to get the help but feel that they are helpless because they don’t have the means, the insurance or the money and in a lot of cases even the support.”



Doctor Josh Paxton, a Chiropractor in North Georgia says a mother of 7 was prescribed this monthly supply of medication, but after chiropractic care… she was able to stop using them.

Dr. Paxton says, “she gave me these three bottles as trophies that I can keep, in there, on my desk, to remind me of how important of an issue this is. This has got to stop.”

Dr. Paxton is no stranger to this issue. His brother was prescribed opioids, that lead to a dependence on the drug, until the pain it was treating healed. Then it became an addiction.

Thankfully he didn’t die like the 134 people said to die PER day in the US because of opioids.

“134 people. Just like this mother, just like my brother, are dying because their brains are getting addicted to these unbelievably strong powerful chemicals and drugs that the brain doesn’t know what to do in their absence once they are introduced,” says Dr. Paxton.

He says “these are good people, that are productive members of society and their brain can’t fathom, once it’s introduced to this chemical, living without it, because it is so powerful.”

If the bill passes, specialists like chiropractors, physical therapist or occupational therapists would cost the same as a primary care physician essentially removing a financial barrier to chiropractic care.

“I always get clumped in with the specialist and while I appreciate the accolades, problem is it’s cost prohibitive because again these visits are generally repetitious, there are generally more than one of them in a series and at $60, $70, $80, $90 even $100, in some cases, it’s just outrageous and financially in bearable for a large percentage of our population,” says Dr. Paxton, “We have got to get this bill pushed through so that people have access to a safe alternative to such a dangerous chemical.”

Dr. Paxton says unfortunately you will not always reach people with abuse prevention.
Other organizations know that far too well and the Hamilton County Coalition is hosting a training session tomorrow ON HOW TO save a life using opioid reversal drugs.

The Hamilton County Coalition will be hosting a free opioid overdose prevention training on Wednesday, February 20 at 11:30 A.M. at the Hamilton County Coalition office (5721 Marlin Road, Building 6100, Suite 3200).

Those in attendance will:

  • Learn how to identify the signs of an overdose
  • Learn what to do in critical moments
  • Learn about alternative pain management
  • Learn about treatment & recovery resources

Attendees will also receive training on how to use Naloxone — the life-saving narcotic overdose reversal medicine.

A unit of Naloxone will also be made available upon completion of the training. Free food will also be provided.

For reservations: contact Vanessa Spotts at vanessa.spotts@hccoalition.org or call 423-255-8551.

 

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