Good News! Telemedicine Flexibilities Pertaining to Controlled Substances Extended Again

October 20, 2023

A pandemic-era policy that allowed physicians to prescribe controlled substances in a telehealth visit has been extended once again – this time to Dec. 31, 2024.

The policy was set to expire with the end of the public health emergency on May 11. Instead, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) initiated a temporary rule that extended the current telemedicine flexibilities for prescribing of controlled substances.

Now the DEA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have initiated a Second Temporary Rule to extend the expiration date to Dec. 31, 2024.

The main purpose of this extension in particular is to give HHS and the DEA additional time to evaluate feedback regarding whether and how the temporary flexibilities could be made permanent. See the Background section (scroll down) of the Federal Register for context.

If you have questions, please contact the ISMS Health Policy Research and Advocacy team by email.

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