States Allowing Telehealth Prescriptions for Opioid Use Disorder

Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government implemented several telehealth flexibilities to allow states to maximize access to medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD). While these flexibilities remain allowable until the end of the federal public health emergency (PHE), state approaches to prescribing MOUD via telehealth currently vary greatly: some states explicitly allow it, some explicitly do not allow it, and some state PHEs have expired, effectively ending the practice in the absence of further guidance regarding prescribing MOUD via telehealth. This map provides a snapshot of current telehealth MOUD state policy 18 months into the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Minnesota Opioid Prescribing Guidelines, First Edition 2018

This is the first edition of the Minnesota Opioid Prescribing Guidelines. The guidelines provide a framework for the appropriate use of opioid analgesia within the larger context of pain management. Specifically, these guidelines aim to reduce the inappropriate use of opioid analgesia, limit the oversupply of prescription opioids in the community and reduce variation in opioid prescribing behavior and above all else, improve the safety and effectiveness of treatments for pain and reduce the potential for harm of such treatments.

Framing Opioid Prescribing Guidelines for Acute Pain: Developing the Evidence

The epidemic of opioid misuse and overdose, combined with the need to reduce the burden of acute pain, poses a significant public health challenge. To address how evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) for prescribing opioids for acute pain might help meet this challenge, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (National Academies) to develop a framework to evaluate CPGs, recommend indications for which new evidence-based guidelines should be developed, and recommend a future research agenda to inform and enable the development and dissemination of evidence-based CPGs.

The resulting report, Framing Opioid Prescribing Guidelines for Acute Pain: Developing the Evidence, recommends two frameworks—an analytic framework and an evidence evaluation framework—that medical professional societies, health care organizations, and state, national, and local agencies could use to develop CPGs for prescribing opioids to manage acute pain.

2019 Recommendations of the AMA Opioid Task Force

The AMA Opioid Task Force is comprised of the American Medical Association, and 25 specialty and state medical societies as well as the American Dental Association. In 2014-15, the Task Force issued six recommendations focused on ways in which physicians could take specific actions to help reverse the nation’s opioid epidemic. Physicians have demonstrated progress in each of these areas, and it is clear that which much work remains, policymakers have an increasing role to play. The 2019 recommendations are focused on tangible actions policymakers can take to help end the epidemic.