December 5, 2022

AHA urges DEA to extend virtual prescribing rules, substance use medication

By: Bridget Brown

Editor's Note

The American Hospital Association (AHA) sent a special request to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on December 1 asking to clarify and extend rules that were created during COVID-19, which allowed providers to virtually prescribe medication for addiction-treatment, Becker’s Hospital Review December 2 reports.

During the pandemic, providers were able to prescribe buprenorphine to patients seeking addiction-treatment through telehealth platforms. The DEA waived the requirement of an in-person appointment before the medication could be prescribed. However, this could change once the declared COVID-19 public health emergency expires next year.

The AHA is seeking clarity on whether these new prescribing rules will expire and whether there is a plan for care if that happens.

"Considering unprecedented staffing shortages, provider burnout and financial constraints, it is critical that hospitals have adequate time to reallocate resources to operationalize regulation components," executive vice president of government relations and public policy for the American Hospital Association, wrote in the letter, adding that these waivers have created more accessibility for patients struggling with substance use disorder.

Read the AHA Letter.


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