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Telehealth Treatment For Opioid Addiction Correlated With Lower Overdoses During Pandemic

Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) beneficiaries aged 18 and older who started opioid addiction treatment via telehealth during the COVID-19 public health emergency were 33% less likely to have a fatal drug overdose, even if they were not prescribed medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), such as methadone, buprenorphine, or extended-release (ER) naltrexone. The odds of a fatal overdose were even lower (data unavailable) for those utilizing telehealth and prescribed methadone or buprenorphine. Faster and easier access to telehealth during the pandemic …

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