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Published: March 21, 2020

SAMHSA Releases Telehealth Guidance for Buprenorphone and Methadone

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released guidance clarifying rules around prescribing buprenorphine and methadone in opioid treatment programs and office-based opioid treatment settings. This new guidance permits DATA 2000 waivered prescribers to evaluate patients by telehealth (including telephone consultation) prior to the first prescription. Please see the SAMHSA website for additional guidance on COVID-19 for behavioral health providers: https://www.samhsa.gov/

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has also issued guidance related to prescribing of controlled substances during the public health emergency: https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/coronavirus.html

As the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation, DHCS is issuing guidance to counties and providers to assist them in providing medically necessary health care services in a timely fashion for behavioral health patients impacted by COVID-19.  Please see the COVID-19 information page on the DHCS website for guidance relevant to your organization or providers you work with: https://www.dhcs.ca.gov/Pages/DHCS-COVID%E2%80%9119-Response.aspx.

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