“Providers aren’t using telemedicine enough for substance use disorder treatment, and researchers say the resource is a “missed opportunity” when drug overdose deaths continue to climb and access to care remains limited.
Telemedicine visits for substance use disorder jumped from 97 in 2010 to nearly 2,000 by 2017, according to an analysis published Monday in Health Affairs. But substance use disorder represented only 1% of all telemedicine visits in 2017, and they made up 0.1% of all substance use disorder treatment visits.
Telemedicine growth in substance use treatment has been stymied by federal regulations that require prescribers of medication-assisted treatments like buprenorphine to see patients in-person first. That requirement can make it difficult for patients in areas with few or no clinicians certified to prescribe MAT to receive treatment. There is an exception that allows local clinicians to prescribe buprenorphine if they’re supervised by another provider via telemedicine.”
Source: ModernHealthcare.com – December 3, 2018