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Smart Decision by DEA to Extend Telehealth Controlled Substance Prescribing Flexibilities

As the CEO of a virtual care company that provides remote psychiatry and neurology services, among others, I’m incredibly relieved that the DEA decided to continue to allow remote providers to prescribe necessary and appropriate controlled substances via telemedicine without the extra burden of requiring an in-person evaluation.

As Becker’s reported, the DEA “recognized the importance of telemedicine in providing Americans with access to needed medications, and has decided to extend the current flexibilities while we work to find a way forward to give Americans that access with appropriate safeguards.” 

AmplifyMD provides Tele-Neurology and Tele-Psychiatry services to hospitals and outpatient clinics throughout the country. Our physicians currently prescribe controlled substances in a tightly regulated, judicious manner to treat patients’ acute and emergent needs when nothing else will do.

If the DEA had not extended the telehealth flexibilities for controlled substance prescriptions, it would have had significant consequences resulting in: 

  • Longer waits to get patients the medicine, and the appointments, they need (by days, and even weeks)
  • Extra work for the busy onsite care team
  • Patients symptoms untreated for longer periods of time

The DEA will continue to evaluate this regulation and will issue a new telemedicine final rule prior to November 11, 2023. Nathaniel Lacktman, of Foley & Lardner LLP, breaks down more insights into this regulation here.

We need to stop thinking about in-person and remote care as two distinctly different practices and start embracing a system built around seamlessly integrated care. I’m grateful for the DEA’s decision to continue telehealth prescription flexibilities for now; next, it’s time to make them permanent.

AmplifyMD Meena Mallipeddi CEO

Meena Mallipeddi

Meena Mallipeddi is CEO of AmplifyMD, a multi-specialty virtual care company committed to solving previously unmet access needs for patients, hospitals, clinics, and specialty medical practices.

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