Sen. Warner lauds substance abuse telehealth guidance

Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) recently espoused the benefits of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) proposed rule, ensuring providers effectively use telehealth to diagnose and treat substance use disorder patients.

Warner forwarded correspondence to the DEA in January, urging the agency to finalize the rule.

“The opioid and addiction epidemic has had a devastating impact on communities in Virginia and across the country,” Warner said. “We need to use every tool at our disposal to ensure that individuals struggling with addiction can access the treatment they need, and telehealth is an important part of that. I am pleased the DEA has finally issued proposed rulemaking that will improve telehealth access for these patients, and I hope they will work quickly to finalize this rulemaking once stakeholders have had an opportunity to weigh in.”

Warner helped draft and pass the Senate’s substance abuse treatment bill, which included a provision directing the Department of Justice, creating a process exempting certain health care providers for the purpose of providing telehealth services for substance use disorder.

The bill included four other provisions led by Warner using telehealth to expand access to treatment for individuals suffering from substance use disorder, but the Attorney General failed to finalize a rule by the October 2019 deadline.

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