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 recent years, the use of opioids has skyrocketed, drawing attention from all levels of government across the country. In 2016, the opioid-related overdose deaths reached an all-time high of over 42 thousand, prompting President Trump to declare a public health emergency.[i]