ATA Supports Expanded Telemedicine Use for Opioid Crisis

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) announced recently that it supports givernment plans to expand the reach of telemedicine to treat the nation’s opioid epidemic.

“President Trump’s action effectively directs Health and Human Services (HHS) Acting Secretary Eric Hargan, to remove the prohibition on prescribing controlled substances – including anti-addiction medicines like naloxone – currently restricted by the 2008 Ryan Haight Act,” a provided statement reads. “President Trump, by today’s action, is using a narrow provision of the law to set aside major restrictions for a declared ‘public health emergency.'”

“Allowing physicians to prescribe controlled substances by telemedicine to treat patients with addictions, using medication assisted treatments, is a very positive move and one that will certainly help more patients to access high quality treatment.” said Dr. Peter Yellowlees, ATA’s President.

While the declaration of a public health emergency lasts 90 days, it can be renewed.

According to the same statement, the declaration in question opens the door for the DEA to create a pathway for providers to treat addicts through telemedicine.

ATA has been urging the DEA to implement a telemedicine “special registration” provision to update the protections of Ryan Haight and expand the use of telemedicine, reducing barriers to addiction treatment through the use of video visits.

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