New Mexico Law Reduces Drug Spending for Mental Health, SUD Patients

A 2022 New Mexico law eliminating in-network mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment copayments, coinsurances and deductibles in plans regulated by the state led to a significant decline in out-of-pocket spending for prescriptions treating those conditions, according to a recent JAMA Health Forum study. However, early results showed that the number of prescriptions dispensed did not change in the six months after New Mexico’s No Behavioral Cost-Sharing (NCS) rule went into effect.

Samantha J. Harris, Ph.D., one of the study’s authors, tells AIS Health that the NCS is “really groundbreaking” in that it’s the first state law to eliminate cost-sharing for mental health and SUD treatments. She adds that “as people are looking at the next frontier of mental health or health care financing, this is an exciting policy option,” although she notes that “it remains to be seen whether it’s going to impact utilization of services [and] whether this is going to improve overall health and well-being.”

© 2024 MMIT
Tim Casey

Tim Casey

Tim has been a reporter and editor for newspapers, websites and magazines for more than 20 years, including 10 years covering health care business topics. He has a deep knowledge of the managed care industry and pharmacy benefit management. He also has experience covering medical conferences and clinical and legislative health care issues. In 2014, the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing selected Tim as one of 15 journalists to participate in a national symposium on the Affordable Care Act. Tim has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame and an M.B.A. from Georgetown University.

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