Remote Substance Use Treatment Faces Quarantine Test

To recover from addiction, people with substance use disorders (SUDs) need support from providers and their peers. As quarantine has become a way of life, and gatherings have been banned in most states for the foreseeable future, both are hard to come by. One possible solution is telehealth, but experts say that remote, tech-aided treatment for addiction is still largely unproven — and most payers and providers don’t have experience with it.

“Because of the unexpected nature and unprecedented nature of the situation, there are very limited data on evidence-based approaches on how to treat patients under these circumstances,” said Carlos Blanco, M.D., during a May 18 webinar about continuity of care for SUD patients, organized by the National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM), a health care think tank. Blanco is the director of the Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a branch of the National Institutes of Health.

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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