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Many urgent care operators have tried to introduce telemedicine services as a way to help patients get care when there’s simply no other way. While it did just that for a lot of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, few have found a way to make it work on an ongoing basis. That doesn’t mean there couldn’t be instances in which virtual care is a valid and useful option, however. One of those might include treatment for opioid use disorder. Penn Medicine OnDemand partnered with a group of substance abuse “navigators” to create a program called CareConnect. Urgent care providers conduct virtual assessments and, when appropriate, prescribe buprenorphine to help addicts stem cravings and manage withdrawal symptoms. They also maintain contact with the patients throughout the care process. According to an article just published by Pharmacy Times, so far 89% of patients in the program filled their first prescription of buprenorphine, and 55% were still engaged 30 days after their initial encounter, “which indicated they were still actively in treatment,” according to the article. Telehealth is by no means the only route through which urgent care can support addicts who want help. Read The Potential Role of Urgent Care in Addressing the Opiate Epidemic to learn more.

Could Opioid Use Disorder Be the Rare Condition Where Telemedicine Works for Urgent Care?