It is legal to access Medication for Addiction Treatment (MAT) via an authorized telemedicine addiction treatment organization, like Bicycle Health.
Numerous telemedicine laws regulate virtual or online treatment, particularly as it applies to controlled substances like buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone). While the rules can vary from state to state, you can use telehealth to facilitate access to addiction treatment services.
Telemedicine Brings Care to You
A telemedicine visit happens over a virtual online visit. Some states require that your provider be physically located in the same state as you, while others may allow you to see a telehealth provider located in another state. 
Online tools like this one can help you understand telemedicine rules in your state. But in general, know that any provider you connect with via Bicycle Health is legally allowed to treat you.
Telemedicine Benefits in Addiction Care
Why should you log into a virtual appointment when you could see a provider in person? Research suggests that telemedicine can deliver advantages to in-person office visits.
Telemedicine benefits include the opportunity for patients to track their symptoms and how they’re feeling each day, with that information instantly sent to their medical providers, allowing clinicians to provide the highest level of support to patients at the moment.
And further, this type of ongoing tracking and surveying throughout each day allows providers more insight into what might trigger a patient’s cravings, thereby allowing for a more specialized treatment plan.
People living in rural areas once had to travel long distances for opioid use disorder treatment. Now, you can get the care you need at home through telehealth.
Unfortunately, there is still a lot of stigma around addiction treatment which sometimes prevents people from seeking care. Virtual appointments allow for more privacy  No one will see your car parked outside of an addiction clinic. This makes care easier for some people.
Connecting With Others
Virtual health also allows patients to attend online support groups, which adds an extra layer of accountability and community support.
Retention in Treatment
Research suggests that people in telemedicine programs stay in treatment longer than people in standard programs.
What Telemedicine Services Are Available?
Telemedicine treatment for opioid use disorder involves regular videoconferencing visits with medical providers, health coaching, online support groups, and sometimes urine drug screen requirements.
Using Telemedicine: Step by Step
Getting started with telemedicine treatment is quick and easy.
To enroll in a program like the one we offer, you will do the following:
- Call to sign up. Explain your history, your situation, and your treatment goals. The team will determine if the telemedicine model is right for you.
- Meet with a provider. Go through an assessment process in a private appointment with an addiction treatment professional. This video call is private and secure, and anything you say is protected.
- Visit a pharmacy. If MAT is right for you, the team will write a prescription you can fill at a pharmacy near you.
To learn more about the availability of Bicycle Health’s telemedicine buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) treatment in your area, call us at (844) 943-2514, or schedule an appointment here.
- Telehealth Licensing Requirements and Interstate Compacts. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://telehealth.hhs.gov/providers/policy-changes-during-the-covid-19-public-health-emergency/telehealth-licensing-requirements-and-interstate-compacts/. March 2022. Accessed August 2022.
- Cross-State Licensing. Center for Connected Health Policy. https://www.cchpca.org/topic/cross-state-licensing-professional-requirements/. Accessed August 2022.
- Trends in Telemedicine Use in Addiction Treatment. Addiction Science and Clinical Practice. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s13722-015-0035-4. May 2015. Accessed August 2022.
- The Effectiveness of Telemedicine-Delivered Opioid Agonist Therapy in a Supervised Clinical Setting. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0376871617302077. July 2017. Accessed August 2022.
Medically Reviewed By: Elena Hill, MD, MPH
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