Addiction Policy News

KYSAM Urges Retraction of Board of Medical Licensure Opinion Relating to Telemedicine and MAT

August 18, 2021

 

On August 9th, the Kentucky Society of Addiction Medicine (KYSAM) sent a letter to President Shuffett of the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure (KBML), responding to KBML’s recently published Board Opinion Relating to Online/Virtual Medication Assisted Treatment. In their opinion, KBML’s board argued to reverse pandemic-related emergency regulations allowing for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) via telehealth. Citing evidence that the public health emergency is still ongoing, KYSAM urged that KBML retract its statement and collaborate with interested stakeholders to avoid a reversion back to pre-pandemic regulation of MAT.

 

In the letter, KYSAM highlighted how the KBML board’s position on MAT is inconsistent with federal guidance released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This federal guidance relaxed restrictions on clinicians to prescribe and administer treatment in a fully virtual environment. Additionally, KYSAM outlined how the KBML board opinion conflicts with the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) treatment guidance for opioid use disorder (OUD) during the Covid-19 pandemic. Current ASAM treatment guidance states that patient induction and evaluation can be performed effectively using audio-only technology, primarily by monitoring speech patterns. KYSAM also argued that KBML board opinion on MAT constrains the flexibility of addiction care professionals and limits patient access to life-saving treatment at a time of desperate need. Specifically, patients who live in rural areas and lack access to reliable broadband internet would be most adversely impacted by KBML’s proposed restriction on MAT.  

 

Read the letter here.