Telehealth Capability Among Substance Use Disorder Treatment Facilities in Counties With High Versus Low COVID-19 Social Distancing

Jonathan Cantor, Bradley D. Stein, Brendan Saloner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To quantify the availability of telehealth services at substance use treatment facilities in the U.S. at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and determine whether telehealth is available at facilities in counties with the greatest amount of social distancing. METHODS: We merged county-level measures of social distancing through April 18, 2020 to detailed administrative data on substance use treatment facilities. We then calculated the number and share of treatment facilities that offered telehealth services by whether residents of the county social distanced or not. Finally, we estimated a logistic regression that predicted the offering of telehealth services using both county- and facility-level characteristics. RESULTS: Approximately 27% of substance use facilities in the U.S. reported telehealth availability at the outset of the pandemic. Treatment facilities in counties with a greater social distancing were less likely to possess telemedicine capability. Similarly, nonopioid treatment programs that offered buprenorphine or vivitrol in counties with a greater burden of COVID-19 were less likely to offer telemedicine when compared to similar facilities in counties with a lower burden of COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: Relatively few substance use treatment facilities offered telehealth services at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Policymakers and public health officials should do more to support facilities in offering telehealth services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e366-e368
JournalJournal of addiction medicine
Volume14
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Telehealth Capability Among Substance Use Disorder Treatment Facilities in Counties With High Versus Low COVID-19 Social Distancing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this