As recommendations to postpone elective dental procedures and practice social distancing increase, so does the use of telehealth. Telehealth can be used to triage patients’ emergencies and it could even become necessary to prescribe medication after a virtual examination. What guidance do dental prescribers have during the COVID-19 crisis?
Changes announced by the DEA
Following the declaration of a national state of emergency by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on January 31, 2020, the DEA began to allow DEA-registered practitioners (including dentists) to prescribe controlled substances for patients whom they have not conducted an in-person examination. [DEA Announcement] (At this time the DEA states that they are unaware of any drug shortages.)
What do you need to do to start using teledentistry to e-prescribe?
Dentists may prescribe any schedule II-V controlled substances electronically or call a prescription into a pharmacy for the duration of the declared emergency as long as the following criteria are met:
- The prescription is issued for a legitimate medical purpose by a practitioner acting in the usual course of his/her professional practice.
- The telemedicine communication is conducted using an audio-visual, real-time, two-way interactive communication system.
- The practitioner is acting in accordance with applicable Federal and State law.
Review state regulations
The DEA has also granted practitioners permission to e-prescribe across state lines. [DEA letter] However, it is important that practitioners follow their state laws and practice regulations regarding e-prescribing. [MDToolbox]
TeleDent provides the required features in a telemedicine platform to e-prescribe
TeleDent provides, as the DEA describes, “an audio-visual, real-time, two-way interactive communication system”. Those features are part of our Patient Portal and live video consult capabilities. Learn more.