We were delighted to get the news last week that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia has started covering our treatment program. They have decided to cover the detoxification process and a subsequent six months of naltrexone therapy and case management. This will allow many more Virginia residents to be able to get off drugs and stay off drugs. We are excited to reach this milestone on the path to broadening access to our unique treatments with other insurers and in other states.

The Anthem team is fully aware of the extent of the current Opioid Crisis and how many people are being negatively affected by it. They are also aware of how difficult it is to treat this disease and the fact that many patients do not have good success with currently available treatment programs. Once they learned more about what we do, they were very interested in offering our treatment programs to their members.

The team at Anthem is particularly excited to cover our six-month program. This program, which we started in Richmond at the beginning of the year, means that when patients come in for their detoxification off opioids, they automatically get six months of case management and six months of naltrexone therapy using either naltrexone implants or Vivitrol. This allows patients a long enough period to stabilize off the drugs and for their brain to start functioning effectively again. It gives them time and support to get into appropriate counseling and really start working a recovery program, so they can get into long term recovery.

Part of the reason that Anthem has become interested in covering our treatment is because there have been several recent articles published in medical literature which show that long-acting naltrexone products, like Vivitrol and naltrexone implants, have favorable long-term outcomes for patients. We will be working with Anthem to track our outcomes, so we can continue to improve our treatment and provide the very best care for our patients.

We are excited about this opportunity with Anthem and have begun talking with other insurers about the advantages of allowing their members to access our treatments. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us at pcoleman@thecolemaninstitute.com.

Peter R. Coleman, MD