Tillis, Colleagues Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Telehealth Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Thom Tillis and his colleagues recently reintroduced the bipartisan Telehealth Response for E-prescribing Addiction Therapy Services (TREATS) Act, legislation to increase access to telehealth services for opioid use disorder. The bill will waive regulatory restrictions for accessing care, preserving flexibilities put in place to expand access and save lives during the pandemic…
During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services temporarily removed the in-person exam requirement for prescribing medication via telemedicine for people with opioid use disorder. Telehealth flexibilities helped a broad range of patients – including veterans, those living in rural areas, people experiencing homelessness, individuals in the criminal justice system, and racial and ethnic minorities – access treatment. The flexibilities are set to expire on December 31, 2024.
The TREATS Act would make the changes permanent, allowing providers to waive the in-person visit requirement and instead use audio-only or audio-visual telehealth technology.
The American Medical Association, American Society for Addiction Medicine, American Telemedicine Association, Faces and Voices of Recovery, Kennedy Forum, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, National Rural Health Association, National Safety Council, National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, R Street Institute, and The Pew Charitable Trusts endorsed the senators’ legislation.