As urged by the AHA, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration released a temporary rule extending telehealth prescribing flexibilities for buprenorphine and other controlled substances through Nov. 11, 2024, while they develop final regulations “consistent with public health, safety, and effective controls against diversion.” Without the extension, these telehealth prescribing flexibilities were to end when the COVID-19 public health emergency expires on May 11. 

“The AHA appreciates the Administration listening to our concerns by extending COVID-19 telehealth flexibilities for prescriptions of controlled medications,” said Ashley Thompson, AHA’s senior vice president for public policy analysis and development. “These important flexibilities have made it possible for patients to get the care and critical medicines they need over the past three years and have also helped preserve provider capacity during ongoing workforce shortages. We will continue to work to increase health access for at-risk patients' while at the same time safeguarding the prescribing of controlled medications.”

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