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February 19, 2021

Public and Private Sector Work to Expand Telehealth Services for Substance Abuse Treatment

With the increase in substance use and substance use deaths due to the pandemic, the push by public and private sectors to have “meaningful substance use disorder treatment programs has never been greater”. Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services has announced  that it will eliminate the X-waiver requirement for DEA-registered physicians in order to expand medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Additionally, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery 2.0 Act (CARA 2.0 Act), introduced this past December, will increase funding and permit physicians to prescribe for MAT without a file in-person exam. Following several studies, a guidebook entitled Telehealth Solutions for Addiction Treatment has been released to assist health plans and providers on what to consider when seeking to expand telehealth substance use treatment programs.