The recent regulatory barriers that have for years stifle Telehealth adoption for all providers are not being driven by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
State Medicaid Agencies have actually been the predominant driver of change by recognizing the value of Telehealth and Telemedicine in the healthcare delivery for their beneficiaries. States have embraced the use of Telehealth especially for providers of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disease services but that was just the start.
With the National Opioid Epidemic sweeping the Country everyone recognizes the value of Medicare Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs
CMS has made some substantial changes in their rules for Telehealth especially e-prescribing associated with Suboxone for the treatment of Opioid Addiction. Suboxone is classified as a controlled substance and as such restrictions by Individual State laws and the Ryan Haight Act have limited ability of patients in rural areas or limited transportation access from being able to be prescribed this lifesaving medication thru Telehealth or Telemedicine. However, that has changed and CMS does now allow for Telehealth to be a realist mechanism for patients and providers to be able to treat substance abuse disorders (SUD)