In January, HRS published a blog post advocating for the use of remote prescribing to combat the opioid crisis and provide needed medications to patients struggling with opioid use disorders (OUDs). Today, HRS reviews the background of remote prescriptions and the role of telehealth to treat multiple conditions.
Over the past several months, significant changes surrounding telehealth and its role in healthcare have taken place. Changes include, CMS’ new, more generous reimbursement policies and several state laws spurring the progression of telehealth programs to address the opioid crisis. These changes reflect the greater movement towards telehealth as an affordable option to improve healthcare access and quality of care. To meet the rising demand for telehealth services, federal and state agencies, as well as nongovernmental organizations, have expanded their grant funding for telehealth programs.
In contrast to other fields in healthcare, substance abuse disorder treatment lacks a significant technology component. Telehealth technologies have yet to be implemented on a universal scale in addiction recovery programs. However, studies show that telehealth has the potential to transform and improve the way we rehabilitate substance abuse patients and can help to reduce the number of people impacted by the opioid crisis in the United States.