DEA and Telemedicine: East Coast Telepsychiatry’s Push for Modernized Rules

 On September 12 and 13, 2023, the DEA hosted listening sessions to gather feedback from healthcare practitioners, experts, advocates, patients, and other public members regarding the DEA’s regulations on prescribing controlled substances via telemedicine.

East Coast Telepsychiatry was honored for its selection to present insights and data advocating for enhanced telemedicine regulations and laws. Representing rural America and the psychiatric community at large, Pierre Montalvo, Operations and Compliance Manager, and Dan Golden, Chief Administrator of East Coast Telepsychiatry, addressed the DEA to advocate for patient rights and the pursuit of optimal care.

East Coast Telepsychiatry, the parent entity of East Coast Family Medicine, functions as a family-owned enterprise in Callao, VA, with further branches in Florida, South Carolina, New York, and Virginia. The East Coast network stands out as one of the few practices currently accepting new patients with a wait time of less than seven days.

The DEA Headquarters in Arlington, VA, received Mr. Montalvo and Mr. Golden as two of the select individuals, numbering fewer than 100, invited to attend the event in person.

The forum also spotlighted Mr. Golden as a speaker. Each presenter was allocated a ten-minute segment to champion the comprehensive use of telemedicine and the importance of prescribing controlled substances through telehealth.

The 2008 telemedicine regulations under the Ryan Haight Act have grown obsolete and necessitate prompt revisions. Even though the DEA began enforcing the Ryan Haight Act in March 2023, signaling the official conclusion of the pandemic, this decision was paused following the receipt of an unprecedented 38,000 formal complaints within a month concerning the new guidelines.

In May of the same year, the DEA commented, “The role of telemedicine in providing Americans with access to vital medications is recognized. A decision has been made to prolong the existing flexibilities for an additional six months as a balanced approach is sought to guarantee this access with appropriate precautions.”

Mr. Golden, along with approximately 60 other presenters, conveyed essential data, statistics, and apprehensions from healthcare providers, including Amy Pharr, APRN. Ms. Pharr, among others, is committed to offering premier care to all Americans, especially those residing in rural areas or zones with a pronounced shortage of healthcare professionals.

The Ryan Haight Act imposes significant limitations on Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, and various healthcare experts, impeding their capacity to cater to patients earnestly seeking accessible and cost-effective care.

The Ryan Haight Act warrants a revision to cater to the pressing patient care needs that considerably outnumber the present healthcare providers. An immediate amendment is also essential to synchronize with the technological progress that has long outpaced this outdated regulation.

A link has been incorporated into this release and on associated websites for those keen on viewing the event. The link showcases the proceedings of the event’s second day, while a connection to the footage from the first day is also accessible on the mentioned websites. It’s recommended to view a substantial segment of the video, with Mr. Golden’s section commencing at the 4:37:45 mark.

DEA Telemedicine Listening Session – Day 2

East Coast Telepsychiatry
Dan Golden



  • Family Medicine
  • Government
  • Healthcare Management
  • Legal & Law
  • Medical & Health
  • Medical Research
  • Mental Health
  • Nursing
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Telecommunications

National telemedicine service of India – eSanjeevani achieves 8 crore teleconsultations

In a significant achievement, eSanjeevani, Govt. of India’s free telemedicine service, has crossed another astounding milestone by clocking 8 crore teleconsultations. The last 1 crore consultations were recorded in a remarkable time frame of around 5 weeks, signaling a wider adoption of telemedicine. An e-health initiative of Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, eSanjeevani is a national telemedicine service that strives to provide an alternative to the conventional physical consultations via digital platform.

In less than 3 years, this initiative has garnered the distinction of being the world’s largest government owned telemedicine platform. It consists of two verticals that cater to patients across all states and UTs successfully making its presence felt in the innermost regions of the nation.

The first vertical eSanjeevaniAB-HWC endeavors to bridge rural-urban digital health divide by providing assisted teleconsultations, and ensuring that e beneficiaries of Ayushman Bharat Scheme are able to avail of the benefits they are entitled to. This vertical operates on a Hub-and-Spoke model wherein the ‘Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centers’ (HWCs) are set up at state level, act as spokes, which are mapped with the hub (comprising MBBS/ Specialty/Super-Specialty doctors) at zonal level. With the objective to provide quality health services to a patient residing in rural areas, this model has been successfully implemented in 1,09,748 Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) and 14,188 Hubs, achieving a total of 7,11,58,968 teleconsultations.

eSanjeevaniOPD is the latter vertical which caters to citizens in both rural and urban alike. It leverages technology via smartphones, tablets, laptops enabling doctor consultations to be accessible from the patient’s residence regardless of location. eSanjeevaniOPD has acquired 1,144 online OPDs with 2,22,026 specialists, doctors and health workers that have been trained and onboarded. This platform has an impressive record of having served over 4.34 lakhs patients in one day. Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Mohali, which is providing holistic technical training and support to users, is augmenting the faculties of this vertical to be able to serve up to 1 million patients per day.

eSanjeevani is a cohesive part Ayushman Bharat Digital Health Mission (ABDM), and more than 45,000 ABHA IDs have been generated via eSanjeevani application. 

Leading ten states for usage of this platform are: Andhra Pradesh (28242880), West Bengal (10005725), Karnataka (9446699), Tamil Nadu (8723333), Maharashtra (4070430), Uttar Pradesh (3763092), Madhya Pradesh (3283607), Bihar (2624482), Telangana (2452529), Gujarat (1673888).



HFW/E-sanjeevani clocks 8 crores/06Dec2022/1      

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Implementation of telemedicine technology could save India around 5 billion US dollars annually: Dr Jitendra Singh

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said that Tele-medicine technology could save India around 5 billion US dollars annually and that Tele-medicine is no longer an option but a necessity.The Minister said that Digital health is the next frontier to ensure healthcare delivery is accessible, available, and affordable.

Addressing the CII Asia Health 2021 summit on the theme of ‘Transforming Healthcare for a better tomorrow’, the Dr Jitendra Singh called for innovative healthcare solutions like Telemedicine in a country like India, where there is a shortage of medical professionals, and millions of people live in rural areas without direct access to proper healthcare or treatment.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, the implementation of tele-medicine technology could save India between 4-5 billion US dollars every year and replace half of in-person outpatient consultations. He said, Telemedicine in the country has proven to be cost effective by about 30% less than equivalent in-person visits.

Dr Jitendra Singh said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given very high priority to the Health Sector this year’s budget increased the spending on healthcare by 137% and is in line with industry expectations of 2.5%-3% of the GDP, and also the GDP National Health Policy 2017 target of 2.5% by 2025. The Minister informed that India will spend Rs 2.23 lakh crore on healthcare this year including Rs 35,000 crore on Covid-19 vaccines.

Dr Jitendra Singh informed that in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW) along with the NITI Aayog, drew the Telemedicine Practice Guidelines that allowed registered medical practitioners (RMPs) to deliver healthcare services leveraging digital health technologies via telemedicine platforms. He said, to achieve this, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission to provide a digital Health ID to people which will contain their health records. Telemedicine will continue to grow leaps and bounds in the years to come especially with greater internet penetration across the country, the Minister added.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, Health technology is becoming central to healthcare as it leads to improvement of health literacy, patient empowerment and engagement, and enable better self-management of care. It is also one of the key components of efforts to improve the quality, efficiency and safety of healthcare delivery while lowering healthcare costs.

The Minister said that various health care schemes launched by Modi Government such as PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission, Ayushman Bharat Jan ArogyaYojana, Ayushman Health and Wellness Centres, Pradhan MantriBhartiyaJanaushadhiPariyojana (PMBJP) and Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission have made healthcare facilities accessible and affordable to millions of poor people in the country.

The Health Summit was attended by Dr NareshTrehan, Chairman, CII Healthcare Council & CMD, Medanta – Medicity, Mr Kris Gopalakrishnan, Past President, CII and Founding Member, Infosys, Mr Pankaj Sahni – Chief Executive Officer, Medanta – Medicity, Dr Mradul Kaushik – Chief Executive Officer, Max Healthcare Pvt Ltd, Mr Shashank ND, Chairman, CII Subcommittee on Digital Health & CEO & Co-Founder, Practo, Mr Dharmil Shah, Founder, Pharmeasy, and Mr Prashant Tandon, Founder, Tata1MG.



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