- Expanding substance use disorder treatment in the TRICARE system to include coverage of intensive outpatient programs and a variety of treatment approaches for opioid use disorders.
- Supporting distance learning and telemedicine programs that expand access to healthcare, substance use disorder treatment, and educational opportunities in rural communities.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has directed $1.4 million to five pilot projects that will harness the power to use video chat with the hope of connecting patients with doctors who are trained in treating addiction, The Washington Post reports. The pilot projects are being conducted in:
- Southwest Virginia
Some health professionals believe telemedicine could be the answer to the rural addiction treatment problem; however, there are others who have raised some valid concerns with the idea. They point out that addiction telemedicine challenges include prescribing and monitoring addiction medications, according to the article. Those two facets need to be done “face to face, by a physician who has been licensed [by the Drug Enforcement Administration. That’s a barrier,” said Richard Merkel, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Science at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.