The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) stated their support for the use of telehealth for addiction prevention and treatment services during COVID-19, citing the following functions in particular:
- Lowering exposure rates and protecting the medically vulnerable.
- Safely treating individuals infected with COVID-19.
- Monitoring patients remotely and maintaining client-patient engagement.
ASAM provided many considerations for implementing telehealth. Highlights include:
- Creating protocols in case technology fails, or clients need higher levels of care (e.g. consult with other providers, backup technology).
- Checking in with patients before and/or after telehealth visits to find out where they may have struggled with digital communication and bridge any gaps that exist.
- Check with a malpractice insurance carrier to ensure that policy covers providing telemedicine.
- For in-person appointments, the use of digital technologies to screen clients for COVID-19 symptoms prior to arrival.