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Health Agencies Update
August 23/30, 2016

Opioid Epidemic in Appalachia Receives USDA Telemedicine Funding

JAMA. 2016;316(8):808. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.11182

Telemedicine is becoming increasingly popular: visits by rural Medicare beneficiaries increased 28% per year between 2004 and 2013, with 107 955 telemedicine visits in 2013 (Mehrotra A et al. JAMA. 2016;315[18]:2015-2016).

Now, with new data showing that nonmedical use of prescription opioids doubled in the United States over a recent 10-year period (http://bit.ly/29n9C5H), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is evaluating the potential role of telemedicine in helping treat the growing problem of opioid dependence in rural central Appalachia.

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