American Journal of Psychiatry: Impact of COVID-19 Telehealth Policy Changes on Buprenorphine Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
According to this study, drug treatment of veterans with opioid use disorder increased during the first year of the pandemic. This suggests that the rapid shift from in-person to telehealth visits at Veterans’ Affairs (VA) medical centers enabled patients to access care despite COVID-related disruptions. The number of patients receiving buprenorphine continued to increase after the COVID-19 policy changes, but the delivery of care shifted to telehealth visits, suggesting that any reversal of COVID-19 policies must be carefully considered as it could prevent VA patients from receiving buprenorphine via telehealth. For additional coverage, see Stat News, U.S. News & World Report, and University of Michigan.