Physician’s Weekly: Telehealth May Increase Access to Substance Use Treatment During COVID-19

A recent study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, which examined patient characteristics associated with the use of phone versus video-enabled tele-medication for opioid use disorders (tele-MOUD) during COVID-19, found that most tele-MOUD encounters completed by patients (79.62 percent) were video visits. Of these encounters, 23.08 percent were telephone visits. Notably, elderly patients and patients who were less educated (and who also disproportionately experience a digital divide) were more likely to rely on a telephone visit for their care. The study suggests that both video and telephone telehealth visits may be helpful in accessing treatment for opioid use disorders, though patient characteristics of each group may differ slightly.