FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     

Stakeholders Send Letter to DEA Urging Action on Telehealth Rule Crucial for Mental Health, Substance Use Disorders

WASHINGTON, DC, APRIL 2, 2024 – The Alliance for Connected CareAmerican Telemedicine Association, ATA Action, the Consumer Technology Association, and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, co-leading the effort, submitted a letter to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) requesting the expedited release of a revised proposed rule to permit and regulate the prescribing of controlled substances through telehealth. The letter was signed by 214 stakeholders. Current flexibilities allowing for the remote prescribing of controlled substances are set to expire at the end of this year, necessitating regulatory action to ensure their continuation.

Stakeholders praised the DEA for their leadership and actions taken to ensure continued patient access to care be delivered through telemedicine in advance of the final telemedicine regulations expiring at the end of this year. The letter also urged DEA to propose the updated rules immediately for the following reasons:

  • To ensure stakeholders have adequate time to provide feedback on any policy proposal.
  • If DEA were to create a special registration process for telehealth prescribers, as proposed by DEA and many stakeholders, substantial operational lead-time would be needed to implement the new process and comply with other potential operational requirements and guardrails.
  • A rulemaking late in the year that makes significant policy changes would affect the ability of patients and clinicians to make appointments and ensure consistent access to care.
  • There will be operational staff training needs for pharmacies and other parts of the healthcare delivery system to ensure patients uninterrupted access to needed medical treatments offered through telehealth.
  • DEA’s national leadership is needed to set a clear path forward for the nation and to encourage more consistent definitions and aligned requirements from state regulatory bodies – to encourage care in our most underserved areas, without geographic barriers limiting access to care.

To read a full copy of the stakeholder letter, please click here.

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