New treatment for long-term opioid therapy
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New treatment for long-term opioid therapy

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has determined that the long-term use of opioids for conditions of the back and spine pain is not safe. The risks of opioid use outweigh the benefits.

As a result, the long-term use of opioids for chronic back and spine pain will no longer be a covered benefit. This change will begin on Jan. 1, 2018.

More information about the change

A letter was mailed to members about this change. Members were encouraged to talk to their doctor about the new opioid guidelines and come up with a treatment plan that works for them. The plan may include taking less opioids over a period of time, as well as using non-opioid medications and other treatment options such as:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Osteopathic treatment
  • Chiropractic
  • Acupuncture

This change does not affect pain medications for people with cancer or in hospice.


If you have questions or concerns about the change to your benefits or need help talking to your doctor about these changes, please call the EOCCO Customer Service line at 888-788-9821. Our regular office hours are Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time. TTY users, please call 711.

Appeal rights

Members whose benefits are effective by this change will receive a letter. At this time, they have the right to appeal.

Members who need to receive the letter in another language, large print or another way that is best for them, can call 888-788-9821 (TTY users, please call 711).