The Opioid Crisis: The New Legislation, Policy, and Where Telemedicine Fits In

Express Talk

April 15, 2019 | 4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. CDT

The opioid epidemic is now one of America’s deadliest drug overdose crises. According to the CDC, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Towards the end of 2018, Congress, with bi-partisan support, passed the Support of Patients and Communities Act which comprehensively addresses the crisis. For telemedicine advocates, there was some good news in that the Act requires the DEA to implement special registration rules under the Ryan Haight Act. Probably the best news in the SUPPORT ACT was the legislation sponsored by Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) which removed the geographic distinction and qualifications for an originating site for Medicare beneficiaries for the treatment of substance abuse. Those restrictions are not removed until 2020 so what can telehealth do until then?

This one-hour presentation will include Mohana Ravindranath from POLITICO who writes on telehealth policy, Janelle Wesloh from Hazelden Betty Ford, and a representative from Rep. Matsui’s office is invited. We have also to invited a provider in the Medicaid/Medicare space to round out the panel. Tania Malik, Chair of the TMG SIG, will moderate the panel. The presentation will include a look at how the legislation was passed, what it really means, what the possibilities are for enhanced legislation, the policy around telehealth legislation, and the practical effects of telemedicine use for this crisis.


  • Janelle Wesloh, Vice President of Clinical Excellence, Innovation and Recovery Management, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
  • Tania Malik, JD, Founder and CEO, Virtual Medical Group
  • Mohana Ravindranath, eHealth Reporter, Politico