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What are the advantages of telemedicine compared to in-person OUD treatments?

Brian Clear, MD, FASAM — Medical Director profile image
By Brian Clear, MD, FASAM — Medical Director • Updated Sep 19, 2023

Telemedicine includes online counseling, either group-based or individual, and visits with a doctor, PA, or NP, who specializes in addiction medicine. They can also provide medical treatment with Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone). Of the three effective medical treatments for OUD, buprenorphine is the one that can be accessed and provided safely online.

In the US, only about 22% of people with OUD have access to treatment. Many have trouble finding a treatment provider because most are usually clustered in urban areas.

Telemedicine is more accessible than in-person care and provides access to treatment, regardless of how far someone lives from their qualified doctor.

There are also privacy and stigma concerns surrounding OUD treatment. Many of those who struggle with OUD but have access to care don’t utilize it because they feel ashamed, especially in smaller towns where there’s little anonymity in public places or even in the doctor’s office.

We’ve done extensive surveys and qualitative research studies on patient experience. While the medical treatment itself is similar or the same as in-person, patients consistently report higher satisfaction rates and have a higher likelihood of continuing treatment when it’s via telemedicine.

By Brian Clear, MD, FASAM — Medical Director

Brian Clear, MD, FASAM, is board certified in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine, and he joined Bicycle Health in early 2020 as Medical Director and President of the Medical Provider ... Read More

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