In the past few weeks, it has become clear that there are specific strategies that the federal government, states, and other stakeholders can use to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on people with OUD. Most important, states can leverage the increased flexibility provided by the federal government in response to the pandemic to help maintain access to medications used for OUD and increase use of telehealth for counseling and peer support. The strategies require states and providers to rapidly revamp their approach to OUD treatment, an area of medical care that long has been regulated extraordinarily closely by an array of federal and state agencies. In light of the urgency and scrutiny associated with OUD treatment, government agencies, health systems, and providers will need not only to change their policies on paper but also to issue clear and authoritative guidance to explain the new options available to help people with OUD through the pandemic.
Source: Health Affairs