American Telemedicine Association advocates on behalf of remote mental health

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) and ATA Action co-led a letter, along with the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), urging the Biden administration and the DEA to take action to ensure patients now remotely accessing clinically appropriate care do not have their access to care interrupted when the public health emergency ends – and before relevant regulations are finalized.

“With the unified voice of the undersigned organizations, all leaders in healthcare delivery, we are hopeful that the administration and the DEA will take notice – and most importantly, take action – to ensure patients are not left out in the cold,” said Kyle Zebley, senior vice president, public policy, the ATA, and executive director, ATA Action, in a statement. “Patients and providers need both a long-term solution, hopefully in the promulgation of the Special Registration for Telemedicine rules originally put forward by the DEA years ago, as well as a short-term solution until those rules are finalized.

“We believe it is equally important for Congress to maintain the current flexibilities on remote prescribing, to ensure there are no interruptions in the continuity of care. It’s for this reason that we included so many Congressional leaders on the letter, to remind them that our most vulnerable patients may face the telehealth cliff if swift actions are not taken to remove outdated restrictions to telehealth and virtual care services.”