For many people, paying thousands of dollars to attend an inpatient treatment program is financially unrealistic. Luckily, more substance abuse providers are turning to telehealth and telemedicine to treat their patients. And about half of all states have passed laws that mandate insurers cover telemedical services, according to the American Telemedicine Association.
Telehealth and telemedicine are cost-effective tools that allow health care providers maintain relationships with patients after they leave the hospital and transition back into everyday life. An opioid treatment research project from Howard University's Urban Health Initiative is investigating whether telehealth, combined with comprehensive care and a shared electronic health records among the patient's health care providers, will lead to reduced incidences of drug relapse and lower costs of treatment.