Proposed opioid bill carves out telemedicine exceptions: 5 takeaways

Two telemedicine-related provisions were included in the proposed "Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018," a draft bill sponsored by Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., according to JD Supra.

Here are five things to know.

1. The bill, which was introduced in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee April 4, would require the Drug Enforcement Agency establish regulations that allow practitioners to file a special registration to use telemedicine for prescribing controlled substances without a prior in-person exam. The DEA would have to create such program within one year of the bill's passage.

2. Currently, the Ryan Haight Act prohibits the prescribing of controlled substances via telemedicine, except in select situations.

3. The second change the legislation proposes would allow community mental health and addiction treatment centers to register with the DEA to use telemedicine to administer controlled substances.

4. The Ryan Haight Act already enables the remote prescribing of controlled substances to patients being treated at clinics registered with the DEA. However, DEA does not have jurisdiction over all community mental health and addiction treatment centers.

5. The House Energy and Commerce Committee proposed similar bills affecting telemedicine this year, such as the "Special Registration for Telemedicine Clarification Act of 2018" and the "Improving Access to Remote Behavioral Health Treatment Act of 2018."

More articles on telehealth:
Press Ganey to offer medical practices telemedicine surveys to help measure their program's success
Frost & Sullivan: Why 'femtech' will disrupt the healthcare market
VA rolls out telehealth program to address PTSD in veterans

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