Feds Extend Telemedicine Prescribing Flexibilities Through 2024
By Amy Lynn Sorrel

With permanent telehealth prescribing policies still under consideration, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) again has extended temporary pandemic-era telehealth flexibilities to allow physicians to virtually prescribe certain controlled medications, now through Dec. 31, 2024.   

Until that date, DEA-registered prescribers are authorized to prescribe schedule II-V controlled substances via telemedicine to a patient without having conducted an in-person medical evaluation.   

“The purpose of this second temporary rule, like the one before it, is to ensure a smooth transition for patients and practitioners that have come to rely on the availability of telemedicine for controlled medication prescriptions, as well as allowing adequate time for providers to come into compliance with any new standards or safeguards,” states an Oct. 10 announcement DEA posted jointly with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  

The continuation represents the second by DEA.  The first extension – issued in May and set to expire on Nov. 11 – was set to give DEA time to review the more than 38,000 comments it received from stakeholders, including TMA

Similarly, with the second temporary extension, “as DEA and HHS continue to consider [policy] revisions ... and in light of Telemedicine Listening Sessions that DEA hosted on Sept. 12 and 13, 2023, DEA and HHS are further extending such exceptions,” the notice states. “DEA is working to promulgate new standards or safeguards by the fall of 2024.” 

Visit TMA’s Telemedicine and Prescribing web pages for information on telehealth and prescription changes after the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). TMA also offers an on-demand webinar answering member questions about how their practices will be affected by the end of the PHE.   

Last Updated On

November 10, 2023

Originally Published On

October 13, 2023

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Amy Lynn Sorrel

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(512) 370-1384
Amy Sorrel

Amy Lynn Sorrel has covered health care policy for nearly 20 years. She got her start in Chicago after earning her master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and went on to cover health care as an award-winning writer for the American Medical Association, and as an associate editor and managing editor at TMA. Amy is also passionate about health in general as a cancer survivor, avid athlete, traveler, and cook. She grew up in California and now lives in Austin with her Aggie husband and daughter.

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