GOP lawmaker touts move to lift limits on telehealth for opioid treatment

GOP lawmaker touts move to lift limits on telehealth for opioid treatment
© Greg Nash

Rep. Buddy CarterEarl (Buddy) Leroy CarterHerschel Walker skips Georgia's GOP convention Georgia agriculture commissioner launches Senate campaign against Warnock The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden's sky-high budget request MORE (R-Ga.) on Thursday touted legislation to use telehealth to prescribe drugs to treat opioid addiction, a move he said would make it easier to fight the epidemic.

“This will give the opportunity for physicians, through telemedicine, to actually prescribe controlled substances such as what we use in medication assisted treatment,” Carter said at an event on telehealth hosted by The Hill and sponsored by the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety.

Carter’s legislation, cosponsored by Democratic Rep. Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosTo reverse the teaching shortage in low-income communities, give educators incentive to stay Democrats confront difficult prospects for midterms Democrat Cheri Bustos to retire from Congress MORE (Ill.) would lift limits on prescribing drugs that treat opioid addiction without first having an in-person doctor’s visit. Instead, telehealth could be used to prescribe the medication from afar.

The legislation, the Special Registration for Telemedicine Clarification Act, is included in an opioid package that Congress is expected to pass this week.

Sen. Bill CassidyBill CassidyBipartisan lawmakers want Biden to take tougher action on Nicaragua The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Sights and sounds from Biden's UK visit Democrats wary of emerging bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE (R-La.), a doctor, said that telehealth can be useful in other circumstances as well, even if a patient is older and not as technologically savvy, if the doctor establishes a good relationship.  

“It isn't age, it’s the nature of the patient-provider relationship that enables,” Cassidy said.

“The provider can bring a great deal of comfort to that relationship,” he added.

Rep. Doris MatsuiDoris Okada MatsuiShakespeare gets a congressional hearing in this year's 'Will on the Hill' School districts struggle to defend against rising ransomware attacks Hillicon Valley: US, UK authorities say Russian hackers exploited Microsoft vulnerabilities | Lawmakers push for more cyber funds in annual appropriations | Google child care workers ask for transportation stipend MORE (D-Calif.) said an extra step needed is to expand broadband access so that people have strong internet access to enable telehealth. Broadband can be used for rural areas to have the “health care they need and deserve but for economic development also,” Matsui said.