The National Law Review published an article that discussed practical guidelines concerning the treatment of substance use disorders via telehealth. Following were highlights:
Understand your state’s legal and regulatory framework to make sure you are risk-free from civil and criminal sanctions for practicing telehealth. Such information can be found under the state’s department of health, the state mental health agency, or a state agency specifically for substance use disorder treatment. This may apply to opioid treatment programs, residential facilities, or state/public-funded programs.
Review state laws for prescribing controlled substances via telehealth. Some state laws restrict prescribing controlled substances via telehealth and others require additional licensing or registration.
Identify which controlled substance laws are waived during the COVID-19 public health emergency to make substance use treatment more accessible during the pandemic. Check the expiration date of waivers, or if your state is permanently adopting telemedicine as an acceptable route of delivering substance use treatment services.