Provider Alert: DEA Expands COVID-19 Flexibilities for Prescribing Controlled Substances via Telehealth

After DEA’s of its draft temporary rule last week, the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) has officially published a temporary rule expanding COVID-19 related flexibilities for prescribing controlled substances via telehealth. The temporary rule will extend the flexibilities expected to expire on May 11, 2023 to instead remain in effect through November 11, 2023. Additionally, for all practitioner-patient relationships that are established via telehealth until November 11, 2023, the full set of flexibilities will extend for an additional year until November 11, 2024.

This temporary rule follows DEA’s receipt of over 38,000 public comments to its notice of proposed rules issued earlier this year, which would have significantly limited the prescribing of controlled substances via telehealth. Given the record number of comments received by DEA and the impending expiration of the public health emergency flexibilities, DEA has extended the current exceptions to DEA regulations to enable it to put forth final rules consistent with public health and safety and effective against diversion without limiting access to care.

How Frier Levitt Can Help

Frier Levitt continues to stay abreast of all updates regarding the expiration of public health emergency waivers and exceptions, particularly related to practicing and prescribing via telehealth. If you or your telehealth organization intend to continue to prescribe controlled substances through virtual encounters, contact us to discuss best practices for preparing for the expiration of DEA’s extension later this year.