Breaking the Chains of Stigma
At Bicycle Health, we recognize that overcoming the opioid crisis requires a collective effort from all of us. To that end, we earnestly request pharmacies across the nation to do their part to help end the stigma around opioid use disorder.
Buprenorphine (Suboxone) is widely considered the gold standard of care for OUD. However, over 40% of U.S. Pharmacies report having no Buprenorphine in stock. To make matters worse, some pharmacists refuse to fill Suboxone telehealth prescriptions for people with OUD leaving many without access to the medication they rely on to remain in recovery. Paul Walter, a Physician Assistant at Bicycle Health, shares his perspective on the issue:
"It's imperative for pharmacies to understand that Suboxone, and medications like it, are not simply prescriptions, but lifelines for individuals in recovery. Denying access to these medications not only endangers lives but also perpetuates the stigma surrounding addiction. The consequences of such actions can be catastrophic, leading individuals to relapse, overdose, or even lose hope altogether.
Pharmacies should be at the forefront of the battle against addiction, acting as a bridge between medical treatment and recovery. They have a moral obligation to ensure that every patient is treated with dignity and receives the medications they need to regain control of their lives. It's time for pharmacies to embrace their role as healthcare providers and advocates for those on the path to recovery."
You can read the rest of Paul’s op-ed here.
Bicycle Health + Override Health Partnership
Last month, Bicycle Health announced plans to work with Override Health, a virtual chronic pain management clinic. The collaboration will allow Bicycle Health patients to discuss chronic pain management and connect them to pain management specialists across pain medicine, physical therapy, psychology, and pain coaching from Override Health. By that same measure, Override Health specialists who suspect pain patients may be struggling with OUD will have the option to refer those patients to Bicycle Health for evaluation. Read all about the new partnership.
TREATS Act Moves Forward
A bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill that would permanently allow health providers to prescribe buprenorphine, a common medication used to treat opioid addiction, via telehealth.
The measure, known as the Telehealth Response for E-prescribing Addiction Therapy Services Act — TREATS, for short — would permanently extend a temporary, Covid-era policy that allowed patients to receive buprenorphine remotely, without an in-person visit.
Scott Weiner Medicaid PresentationBicycle Health Director of Research, Dr. Scott Weiner presented at the 2023 Business Research & Intelligence Network Medicaid Managed Care Summit in Hollywood, Florida. Dr. Weiner's session took a deep dive into the telehealth model, including how it is structured, the pros and cons of this modality, how telehealth extends the workforce to address treatment deserts, how patients interact with providers on telehealth, outcomes related to telehealth care and, finally, discuss challenges and opportunities with some predictions for the future.
While our main goal at Bicycle Health is to get our patients the help that they need to stay in recovery, we’re also working toward becoming the leading online resource for Suboxone and OUD education. We are constantly listening and surveying our community to find FAQs so we can work with our clinical experts to craft responses. Click here for the rest of the FAQ library.
Check out a recent video from Dr. Danny Nieves-Kim on illicit fentanyl.
Bicycle Health in the News
- Telehealth groups expressed some relief at the Drug Enforcement Administration's extension of pandemic-era flexibilities allowing companies to continue prescribing certain controlled medications without in-person visits until the end of next year. They also pointed to the necessity of a permanent rule.
Ankit Gupta, founder and CEO of Bicycle Health, said the DEA extension will not change business in the short term.
"The DEA has gotten a variety of guidance," Gupta said. "We want to leverage the existing state licensing, credentialing and databases that already exist to allow the DEA to build their special registration on top of [those frameworks]."
- 56% of patients seeking OUD care started using through legal prescription.
“In most conversations about OUD, the people struggling are the ones whose voices are left out,” Scott Weiner, director of research at Bicycle Health, said in a statement. “Our goal with the ‘OUD Index’ is to better understand the diverse group impacted by this disease, so we can reduce stigma, educate the public and change the larger cultural conversation around OUD in our society.”
New Insurance Partners
In addition to working with providers like Anthem, United HealthCare, Cigna, Medicare and BlueCross BlueShield, Bicycle Health is pleased to welcome several new insurance partners, including:
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
If one of these companies provides your health insurance, please let us know to transition your cost of care to your insurer.
Not sure if your insurance is accepted? Visit our Insurance Coverage by State page to view all partners. We’re always extending our reach to work with more insurers and help people like you.