According to Protocol, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the telehealth market to explode due to a combination of stay-at-home orders and regulatory waivers. This expansion opened the door to a previously unattainable type of care for people with opioid addiction that advocates and health care professionals have been championing for years. Partner Libby Baney commented on this phenomenon and its potential extension in the article “Pandemic waivers made it easier to get treatment for opioid addiction. That could all go away next month.”
The federal public health emergency declaration that gave rise to these changes is set to expire in late October. Barring an extension, the telehealth waivers could expire along with it. Baney expressed the sentiment of many advocates and policymakers that the changes be made permanent.
"The need for this access to care was evidenced even prior to the pandemic. The pandemic just made it all the more urgent," said Baney. "Now, the question is: Do we go back?"