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Special Telemedicine Controlled Substance Registration to be Required

Monday, January 21st, 2019

By: Elizabeth Jepson, J.D.

The Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (the SUPPORT Act) was signed into law at the end of October 2018. Amongst many other items, the SUPPORT Act directs the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (the DEA) to establish a registration for practitioners who prescribe controlled substances to patients as the result of telemedicine encounters. This registration must be established by the DEA within one year of the effective date of the SUPPORT Act (i.e. by October 24, 2019). Prior to the creation of this registration, federal law only permitted practitioners to prescribe controlled substances if they conducted an in-person examination of the patient or met a specific exception under the law. Of course, state law plays an important role in evaluating the permissibility of prescribing controlled substances via telemedicine encounters, but prescribers should be aware that a new federal registration will also be required within the next year.

Elizabeth Jepson is a member of a team at Brown & Fortunato, P.C. that routinely represents hospitals and health systems on a broad spectrum of corporate, regulatory and operational issues. The team is led by Beth Anne Jackson (bjackson@bf-law.com), Elizabeth Jepson (ejepson@bf-law.com), Lisa Smith (lsmith@bf-law.com), and Allison Shelton (ashelton@bf-law.com). You can reach the Hospitals and Health Systems team at Brown & Fortunato at 806-345-6300.