Health IT Now Leads Coalition Letter Endorsing e-TREAT Act

WASHINGTON, DC (June 4, 2018): Health IT Now, writing on behalf of its Opioid Safety Alliance - a working group of prescribers, dispensers, professional societies, and patients advocating for the use of technology to fight illegitimate opioid abuse, led nearly a dozen organizations on a letter of support for the Expanding Telehealth Response to Ensure Addiction Treatment (eTREAT) Act (S. 2901). 

The bill, sponsored by Senators John Thune (R-SD), Mark Warner (D-VA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), John Cornyn (R-TX), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Roger Wicker (R-MO), would waive originating site restrictions on Medicare reimbursement for telehealth treatment of substance abuse disorders. 

As the letter of support explains, "Outdated laws and regulations prevent healthcare providers from using technology to provide care to most [Medicare] beneficiaries. The Expanding Telehealth Response to Ensure Addiction Treatment (e-TREAT) Act is an important step in utilizing technology to combat the opioid epidemic by removing these statutory barriers. This would allow Medicare beneficiaries to receive treatment when and where they need it – ensuring providers are able to be with patients at the time of their most critical need."

Co-signers on Health IT Now's letter supporting the e-TREAT Act include American Art Therapy Association, Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness, Call9, Centerstone, Intermountain Healthcare, LifeWIRE Corp, Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Teladoc, and The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 

Health IT Now's Opioid Safety Alliance is also supporting a similar measure, the Access to Telehealth Services for Opioid Use Disorders Act, in the House. 

Read the full endorsement letter for the e-TREAT Act HERE

Background:
 Health IT Now (HITN) is a broad-based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers, and payers that supports incentives to deploy health information technology to improve care, patient outcomes, and to lower costs. Learn more at www.healthitnow.org and learn about the specific work and membership of HITN's Opioid Safety Alliance here