Philadelphia, PA — Today, Dr. Dario V. LaRocca, a medical director at Independence Blue Cross (Independence), testified on behalf of the health insurer at a public information hearing to address access to drug and alcohol addiction treatment services and benefits. The hearing was held by the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Program (DDAP) task force. As the only health insurer to testify, Independence joined a half dozen key stakeholder groups on this critical issue.
“At Independence, we recognize the severity of the addiction epidemic in Pennsylvania,” said Dr. LaRocca, a licensed physician in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and board certified psychiatrist.
“Addiction is a disease that impacts us as a health insurance company but it can also impact our employees, colleagues and families. This is why all of us must play a constructive role in finding thoughtful solutions to address it.”
In his remarks, Dr. LaRocca spoke to Independence’s ongoing work to remove barriers to addiction treatment services through actively working to better educate consumers about their health coverage and how to best use it, and seeking new and better ways to elevate awareness of addiction and behavioral health services through collateral, educational programs, and online updates.
Dr. LaRocca concluded his testimony with a call to action to fellow stakeholders and constituents advising that workable solutions to addiction will only come when there is focus on all stages of life – beginning with education and prevention at early ages, through treatment and continuing support for those who become addicted. He also encouraged a wider commitment to gathering addiction data as evidenced-based medicine is the clearest path to creating more effective programs, treatments and support mechanisms.