Situation: Pre-COVID, patients being prescribed controlled substances required at least one in-person visit pursuant to the Ryan Haight Act. The DEA temporarily waived the in-person requirement during the COVID public health emergency so as to prevent lapses in care for those being prescribed medications such as Suboxone for opioid use disorder. In May 2023, the DEA temporarily extended the COVID flexibilities related to the prescribing of controlled substances by telehealth through November 11, 2023. That rule permitted providers to prescribe the controlled substances by telehealth through November 11, 2024, provided that the provider-patient relationship was initiated by November 11, 2023. Accordingly, after November 11, 2023, the telehealth prescribing flexibility would no longer exist.
Announcement: Fortunately, on October 6, 2023, the DEA announced, jointly with the Department of Health and Human Services, an extension to the telemedicine controlled-substances-prescribing flexibilities through December 31, 2024, regardless of whether the provider established a telemedicine relationship with the patient by November 11, 2023. Accordingly, this will allow providers to continue to prescribe these medications by telehealth means, helping to ensure access.
To view the announcement, visit: DEA and HHS Extend Telemedicine Flexibilities through 2024
ABOUT MAGGIE DICOSTANZO
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Maggie DiCostanzo is a principal attorney in Offit Kurman’s Healthcare practice group. For nearly 20 years she has focused her legal practice by representing physicians, hospitals, post-acute care facilities, and other healthcare professionals, delivering health law advice and counseling as well as representation in regulatory, general liability, and professional liability matters. She is also a registered patent attorney with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, and drafts licensing agreements and other intellectual property-related documents. Ms. DiCostanzo also assists lawyers in Offit Kurman’s other practice groups, including Business Law and Transactions, to address discreet healthcare issues.