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DEA Ryan Haight Rule Updates

Updated: Mar 17, 2023

The DEA has come out with its 'purposed rules" for how the prescribing of controlled substances will look after the Public Health Emergency ends on May 11, 2023.

The new telehealth restrictions proposed by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) last week struck a sour chord with several industry stakeholders. Many industry insiders condemned the move as out of touch and even dangerous, jeopardizing telehealth models’ effectiveness in behavioral health.

Still, the proposal is not set in stone, and parts of it could change after it goes through its public comment phase.

Some industry experts, including DNP Consulting, say that the DEA is out of compliance with a long-standing mandate to create a special registration process to allow some providers to prescribe controlled substances via telehealth without in-person exams. This special registration was to be implemented back in 2008 with the creation of the RH rule.

Still, the initial proposed rules could change before it becomes effective, with some industry observers seeing the austere proposal as more of a starting place for discussion than an intentional walk-back of telehealth use in prescribing controlled substances.

The DEA will hold a 30-day public comment period for the proposed rule that expires on March 31.

Key takeaways

  • The proposed rules would require patients to undergo an in-person examination before clinicians can prescribe controlled substances virtually.

  • The DEA said that if an in-person visit is not conducted prior to a telehealth visit, providers may prescribe:

    • a maximum 30-day supply of Schedule III to V non-narcotics; and

    • a maximum 30-day supply of buprenorphine for opioid use disorder.

  • Providers may also prescribe controlled substances via telehealth without conducting an in-person visit if the patient was referred by a DEA-licensed provider who previously saw the patient in person.

  • The DEA said the rules will not apply to telehealth consultations that do not involve controlled substances.

The public will be able to comment on the proposed changes until March 31. Comments can be submitted HERE or HERE

It is imperative that all providers comment on how these restricted rules will negatively impact their patient populations. DNP Consulting will be sure to keep you all up to date as soon as we know more.

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