The AASM has signed on to a letter coordinated by the American Telemedicine Association urging the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to act to ensure millions of patients are able to continue to access medically necessary controlled substances via telemedicine until the promulgation of the Special Registration for Telemedicine Rules. The letter urges the DEA to take several immediate actions including:
- Update its guidance about telemedicine to waive the prior in-person requirement for the duration of the ongoing opioid epidemic public health emergency issued by the Department of Health and Human Services on Oct. 26, 2017.
- Propose a solution for those patients who have established a valid provider-patient relationship via telemedicine during the COVID-19 public health emergency that allows them to continue receiving legitimate medical treatment including controlled substances.
- Propose a solution for those patients who will establish a valid provider-patient relationship via telemedicine before the Special Registration for Telemedicine is published and in effect, allowing them to receive legitimate medical treatment including controlled substances.
- Continue to allow physicians and other practitioners who have at least one valid, active DEA license per the DEA’s guidance on March 23, 2020, to prescribe controlled substances to patients until the Special Registration is finalized and effective.
- Provide a concrete timetable for when the Special Registration for Telemedicine proposed rule will be published, as well as the timeframe for when DEA will take public comment, publish the final rule, and the corresponding effective date of when those applications will be live.
For questions about this initiative, contact the AASM health policy team at firstname.lastname@example.org.