Barriers of time and distance can limit access to buprenorphine prescribing physicians. In some areas, buprenorphine prescribing physicians are located in urban areas or near medical schools.
Some organizations have successfully used telemedicine to increase physician-prescribing capacity. A buprenorphine prescriber uses video conferencing to treat and prescribe for a patient at a remote location.
In 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched an initiative to use telemedicine to combat the opioid epidemic in rural areas in three states.
See: Opioid crisis in rural areas may be tackled through telemedicine
The National Frontier and Rural Addiction Technology Transfer Center serves as a national resource for information on technology and telemedicine for addiction treatment and recovery services.