BOSTON, Jan. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Q2i, a provider of technology that helps improve the availability and success of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder (OUD), today announced that their solutions now include telehealth functionality.
MAT is the use of FDA-approved medications, such as methadone, buprenorphine or naloxone, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a "whole-patient" approach to the treatment of OUD; it has proven to be highly efficacious for reducing opioid use. By adding telehealth capabilities to its products, Q2i enables providers to manage some areas of OUD treatment virtually, enabling them to reach more patients; in turn, this helps those in remote and rural locations to access the care they need.
Q2i's technology comprises a healthcare team portal and a patient mobile application. It improves the success of MAT programs by providing real-time insight, analytics and trend analysis, and improved connection and support between healthcare teams and their patients. Now, with telehealth capabilities, these benefits can be extended to patients outside the traditional treatment setting.
Assistant Health Secretary Adm. Brett P. Giroir, MD, recently noted that healthcare providers can use connected-care platforms to improve Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) therapy for people struggling with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).
"HHS is committed to improving access to MAT for OUD and is working on a variety of strategies to improve access to this life saving treatment through increased funding to states and communities, payment policy changes, and education, training and technical assistance," he wrote. "One such area is to help providers understand how telemedicine can be used, in certain circumstances, to expand access to buprenorphine-based MAT."
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has now issued its final 2019 Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program, opening the door to reimbursement for connected care services that enable providers to manage and coordinate care at home. "This provides opportunities for patients around communicating with providers remotely," CMS Administrator Seema Verma said during a recent interview. "We've never had this in the program at large. There has been a telehealth benefit mostly for rural providers, but access to care is not just a rural issue, it's something that patients struggle with across the country".
CMS has also issued an interim final rule to eliminate geographic restrictions for telehealth services furnished for purposes of treatment of a substance use disorder or a co-occurring mental health disorder for services furnished on or after July 1, 2019. That ruling – a provision from the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act – would also make the home an originating site, enabling consumers to receive treatment through telehealth at home.
Steven Jenkins, CEO of Q2i said, "Recent and upcoming changes in CMS reimbursement mark an important step for the advancement of telehealth and, in particular, its utility in helping to improve availability and access to MAT." He added, "We believe that, by adding telehealth capabilities to our products, we are empowering treatment providers to treat more OUD patients more effectively."
Q2i collaborates with multidisciplinary healthcare teams, providers and payers to understand and then realize unmet technology needs. We facilitate improvements in patient care by supporting patients with their treatment plans through better connection and information exchange with their healthcare teams.