Telemedicine Solution for Drug Testing for Addiction Treatment During COVID-19 Pandemic

Denver, April 7, 2020 — Cordant Health Solutions® (Cordant) offers a video-observed oral fluid drug testing solution ideal for addiction treatment organizations and government agencies to help continue to provide critical care to individuals recovering from substance use disorder. Oral fluid testing is an effective tool that has been recognized as an appropriate matrix for testing in addiction treatment settings according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

Due to widespread “shelter-in-place” orders, and to minimize exposure to COVID-19, many clinicians and government agencies are struggling to maintain their treatment protocols and programs. While many may already offer telemedicine, services like drug testing to monitor adherence are a challenge in this environment.

Video-observed oral fluid drug testing is non-invasive, easily observed and can be done conveniently in the patient’s home, reducing their risk of exposure to COVID-19. The entire HIPAA-compliant process is conducted under video supervision by a remote Cordant collection specialist or by the clinician during a telemedicine appointment.

“Continuity of care is especially critical at this time as any disruption in addiction treatment, combined with the increased stress and uncertainty caused by the current pandemic, can increase the chance of relapse in this vulnerable population,” said Sue Sommer, CEO and president of Cordant. “Being able to offer drug monitoring for telemedicine helps to continue to hold addiction patients accountable to their treatment program and offers clinicians an objective view into a patient’s adherence during a time when they can’t see the patient as often.”

For patients taking buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid use disorder, Cordant’s oral fluid test detects extremely low buprenorphine levels, which minimizes false-negative results and makes it a useful testing option for addiction and medication-assisted prescribers. Cordant also currently has one of the largest mental health testing menus, with the ability to test for 55 mental health medications using saliva.

To further enhance patient safety, Cordant offers a pharmacy solution that can help ensure patients have convenient and reliable access to buprenorphine. The medication can either be delivered to the patient’s home or to the patient at the time of their visit to the clinic, reducing unnecessary travel. This program is also available for clinics using telemedicine for addiction treatment.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Americans across the country will struggle with increases in depression, anxiety, trauma and grief. There is also an anticipated increase in substance misuse as lives are impacted for individuals and families.

SAMHSA and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have worked to offer flexibility in the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances to ensure necessary addiction treatment remains accessible during this public health emergency. At this time, the DEA has announced that clinicians may prescribe controlled substances to patients using telemedicine without first conducting an in-person evaluation during this public health emergency.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected so much in our country today, and it hit addiction treatment patients as clinics made the hard choice to shut down or to find ways to safely care for their patients quickly,” said Sommer. “It is rewarding to be able to offer services like our pharmacy program or our video drug testing that allow organizations to maintain a high level of treatment to their patients during this uncertain time.”

Clinicians and agencies interested in learning how to add Cordant’s solution to their programs to help patients during the COVID-19 epidemic can contact Cordant at sales@cordanths.com or 844-848-5955.