Prescribing of Controlled Substances
When Patient Has Not Been Seen in Person

As of March 16, 2020, and continuing for as long as the Secretary’s designation of a public health emergency remains in effect, DEA-registered practitioners in all areas of the United States may issue prescriptions for all schedule II-V controlled substances to patients for whom they have not conducted an in-person medical evaluation, provided all of the following conditions are met:

  • The prescription is issued for a legitimate medical purpose by a practitioner acting in the usual course of his/her professional practice;
  • The telemedicine communication is conducted using an audio-visual, real-time, two-way interactive communication system; and
  • The practitioner is acting in accordance with applicable Federal and State laws.

Additional information can be found on the DEA website at


Information Regarding the Use of Telemedicine Related to the COVID-19 crisis 

March 13, 2020
This afternoon, President Trump declared a national emergency and confirmed that Health and Human Services Secretary Azar has been granted the authority to waive existing laws to enable the provision of telemedicine services across the country. We await additional information from CMS, particularly regarding the lifting of current Medicare restrictions on the provision of telemedicine in a patient’s private home. 


Telemedicine Software Offered by DrFirst

We would like to make members aware that DrFirst, NYSPA’s endorsed electronic prescribing software vendor, offers Backline, a telemedicine product that may be of assistance to private practitioners. Backline is available at a $300 annual subscription. DrFirst has assured us that the software product complies with all applicable regulations, including HIPAA.  


Additional Resource Documents Related to Telemedicine

Supplemental Guidance from NYS OMH- Use of Telehealth for Residential  Services

NGS Medicare Provider Enrollment Hotline for Matters Related to COVID-19

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