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Red Flags and Safe Harbors: What DEA Rules Could Mean for Telehealth

Telehealth has become a major source of healthcare during the Covid-19 pandemic, accounting for around 5 percent of all health insurance claims, primarily for behavioral health. However, geographical distance between patient, provider and pharmacist continues to create obstacles, especially with regard to prescriptions for controlled substances. The upcoming rules from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) could potentially heighten these barriers. The ATA suggests creating a Special Registration process for remote prescribing of controlled substances to ensure prescriptions are legitimate, and a safe harbor for pharmacists dispensing remote prescriptions.

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