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The intertwined expansion of telehealth and buprenorphine access from a prescriber hub.

Moore DT, Wischik DL, Lazar CM, Vassallo GG, Rosen MI. The intertwined expansion of telehealth and buprenorphine access from a prescriber hub. Preventive medicine. 2021 Nov 1; 152(Pt 2):106603.

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In this manuscript, we describe how efforts to increase access to buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) through a telemedicine hub before and since the COVID-19 pandemic have played out in the Veterans Healthcare Administration (VHA) in New England. We look at how the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent spike in opioid overdoses tilted the risk: benefit calculation for tele-prescribing a controlled substance such as buprenorphine toward expanding access to tele-buprenorphine. We conclude that there is a need for tele-buprenorphine hubs that can fill gaps in geographically dispersed healthcare systems.

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