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Psych Congress NetworkDEA Extends Temporary Telehealth Prescribing Rules but Long-Term Investment Needed, Expert Says

Telehealth Prescribing Flexibilities Extended, but Permanent Investment Needed

The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have jointly announced an extension of telehealth prescribing flexibilities through December 31, 2024. Initially established during the COVID-19 pandemic, these rules allow for the continued prescribing of controlled medications via virtual practice.

Key Points

  • The DEA and HHS announced on October 6 that telehealth prescribing flexibilities will continue through December 31, 2024.
  • These rules were initially established during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide exception to those outlined in the Ryan Haight Act.
  • The new extension period replaces the one that was set to expire on November 11, 2023.
  • The DEA and HHS decided on the new extension to allow time to “carefully consider the input received” and work to “promulgate a final set of telemedicine regulations by the fall of 2024.”
  • Some providers argue that it is time to render the temporary permanent.

“The DEA is considering a ‘special registration’ process for telemedicine, but ultimately, we need to recognize virtual healthcare as intrinsic and essential to healthcare.”
Steven Chan, MD, MBA, Psych Congress Network Telepsychiatry Section Editor

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