We write about telemedicine and opioid abuse frequently, but usually as separate topics. Middletown, Connecticut-based PursueCare‘s at-home telehealth opioid addiction treatment program has a three-pillar service to help addicts: patients can consult with physicians, talk with counselors, and obtain prescriptions for addiction treatment medications.

PursueCare’s mission is to provide “access to stigma-free and individualized medication and counseling treatment for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) via telehealth. PursuCare is currently available to patients in Connecticut, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Ohio, Vermont, and West Virginia. The service will soon be ready to serve patients in Massachusetts, Maine, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. PursueCare’s support center is based in Connecticut and its pharmacy is in West Virginia. The PursueCare in-person clinic and two partnering facilities are all in Kentucky.

PursueCare provides addiction treatment to patients via smartphone or computer. A patient selects a PursueCare team and schedules treatments with an app. Mail-order prescription meds ship directly to the patient’s home. According to PursueCare, most patient insurance overs PursueCare treatment. The company also offers a self-pay plan.

People with opioid or methamphetamine addiction, as well as those who smoke or vape marijuana, or tobacco products are at higher risk for COVID-19 because of potential damage to their heart and lung health. PursueCare’s telehealth service can help mitigate this risk by reducing the patients’ need to physically go to clinical settings where they might be exposed to the virus.

Once again, the virus crisis is acting as a catalyst to accelerate change in healthcare systems. Telehealth services for substance abuse treatment existed before the pandemic became a problem, but these services have grown more rapidly as a result.