Senators push for prescribing via telemedicine
In a recent letter to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, a
bipartisan group of senators pushed for a new rule that would expand rural
communities’ access to opioid addiction treatment by easing restrictions on
providers’ ability to prescribe controlled substances through telemedicine.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), and Lisa Murkowski and Dan
Sullivan, both Republicans from Alaska, called for healthcare providers in
limited cases to be exempt from current laws requiring prescribers to see a
patient in person before issuing a prescription for a controlled substance,
such as those used in medication assisted treatment. In the senators’ proposal,
practitioners would be able to obtain a special registration to write
prescriptions as part of opioid addiction treatment via telemedicine.
The expansion of telehealth “would ensure that controlled
substances are dispensed in a tightly regulated and safe way,” Murkowski said
in a news release.
Accessing in-person treatment for substance use disorders
has been particularly challenging for many in the senators’ home states. In
Missouri, 98 of 101 rural counties do not have licensed psychiatrists, while
80% of communities in Alaska are not connected to a road system.
Thanks to Healthcare Executive for this information