DEA Announces Proposed Rules Following the Expiration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

Posted on Health Care Law News, Medicare Reimbursement by Erin Ferber

In light of the expiration of the Public Health Emergency (PHE) effective May 11, 2023, many flexibilities adopted during the PHE by many federal and state payers as well as government regulators will terminate.

Recently, DEA proposed permanent rules for the prescribing of controlled medications via telemedicine.  During the PHE, DEA suspended the requirement that a medical practitioner conduct an in-person examination prior to prescribing a controlled substance.  Instead, a medical practitioner could prescribe controlled substances via telehealth and without an in-person examination as long as the prescription was medically necessary, among other things.

The proposed rules will most significantly impact telemedicine consultations by a medical practitioner that has never conducted an in-person evaluation of a patient and that results in the prescribing of a controlled medication.  In that situation, medical practitioners are limited to prescribing only a 30-day supply of Schedule III-V non-narcotic controlled substances or a 30-day supply of buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid disorder.  Medical practitioners must still ensure compliance with any other applicable Federal and State laws.

Nicholson & Eastin, LLP, routinely assist healthcare providers in navigating the complexities of health care compliance including those specific to the PHE.  We will be monitoring the impacts of the expiration of the PHE and would be happy to discuss how they may affect you and your practice.  If you questions or concerns regarding this, or any other policy/guidance related to the PHE, please do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Nicholson & Eastin, LLP.