InSight Supports ATA’s Recommendations Regarding New Telehealth Bulletin Developed by MassHealth

Marlton, NJ, March 18, 2019: In response to the bulletin designed to address the use of the telehealth modality for the delivery of MassHealth-covered behavioral health services, InSight Telepsychiatry has written to support ATA’s proposed changes to the language in order to improve access to behavioral healthcare.

The initial bulletin was developed to improve access to behavioral healthcare throughout the Commonwealth, but some language regarding prescription creates unnecessary barriers to care, particularly for telehealth providers serving children or treating opioid use disorder. Stimulants, a schedule II drug, are largely considered to be one of the foundational tools of the child psychiatry profession when it comes to treating ADHD. Similarly, schedule II controlled substances like Methadone, Naltrexone and Buprenorphine are benchmarks of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), a method proven successful at treating opioid use disorder.

The bulletin in its current language restricts telepsychiatry providers from prescribing schedule II drugs when they deem it appropriate during these encounters, creating unnecessary inefficiencies and limitations. Additionally, the MassHealth bulletin’s current in-person examination requirement makes it cost and logistically prohibitive to address core public health issues via telehealth.

Read InSight’s letter of support and the full ATA recommendations here.