Telehealth An Effective Way To Treat Opioid-Use Disorder And Increase Access To Care, According To Peer-Reviewed Study From Bicycle Health

BMJ Innovations study finds that Bicycle Health’s telehealth model of care engages people in treatment sooner and demonstrates higher retention rates, significantly reducing opioid morbidity and mortality

BOSTON, Dec. 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bicycle Health, the leading provider of virtual opioid addiction treatment, announced new research published in the highly-respected medical journal, BMJ Innovations, that details and validates the company’s novel clinical model for treating opioid use disorder (OUD) via telehealth.

A summary of the key outcomes and insights from the research are available online here in Bicycle Health’s resource center for strategic partners.

According to the peer-reviewed study, Bicycle Health’s telehealth model for OUD treatment demonstrates stronger retention rates – as evidenced by 80% of insured patients still in treatment at 90 days and 59% for a mixed population of insured and self-pay at 90 days. This is higher than the industry average, which is 44% at 90 days. The model also leads to lower “no show” rates for doctor’s visits, as evidenced by 9.5% of patients in the study missing an appointment compared to the 23% average of in-person treatment.

“In 2021, we saw over 75,000 opioid-related deaths in the U.S. – yet less than 10% of people receive an OUD diagnosis or are actively engaged in treatment, usually due to stigma, lack of accessibility, and the cost of treatment,” said Ankit Gupta, founder and CEO of Bicycle Health. “This research is a major validation of our innovative telehealth model as we work to bring effective OUD treatment to patients across the country, and ultimately help more people live fulfilling lives free from opioid addiction.”

As opioid-related deaths reach new heights in the United States, Bicycle Health’s research also revealed far-reaching implications for access to OUD care at a time when people need it most. The study finds that the Bicycle Health model is an effective way to reach previously unengaged and unreached populations, demonstrated by 31% of patients reporting no previous history of buprenorphine treatment, an FDA-approved medication that limits painful opioid withdrawal symptoms, prevents overdose, and supports long-term recovery.

Additional findings include:

  • Approximately 70% of new Bicycle Health patients are seen by a buprenorphine-waivered provider on the same or next business day as their initial enrollment outreach.
  • 89% percent of new patients receive provider-delivered motivational interviewing.
  • With particular respect to the company’s pharmacy finder tool, implementation of this tool has significantly reduced the time spent on locating buprenorphine stock and has lowered the financial and logistical barriers for patients to access buprenorphine.
    • The tool helped clinical support staff successfully find medication in stock at a pharmacy convenient to the patient 75% of the time, compared to 40% before the tool.

Dr. Rebekah L. Rollston, head of research at Bicycle Health and lead author of the study added, “These findings prove that medications for addiction treatment are an effective and safe form of treatment, demonstrating the need to increase access to more treatment options.” According to the findings, Bicycle Health’s clinically-backed model for treating OUD via telehealth “can be replicated and adapted to increase widespread access to OUD treatment, opening the door for more people to enter recovery.”

Bicycle Health has provided evidence-based OUD treatment virtually to 20,000 patients in 29 states across America. Bicycle’s care model includes synchronous and asynchronous telehealth visits, same-day prescription refills for medication management, access to peer support groups and psychotherapy, and regular in-home diagnostics testing to monitor a patient's progress. The company prevented an estimated 355 overdoses in 2021.

To learn more about the results and Bicycle Health’s treatment model, visit

About Bicycle Health
Bicycle Health is the leading telehealth provider of integrated medical and behavioral treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) in the United States, offering an evidence-based care model that includes FDA-approved medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD), access to a highly-trained team of medical experts, therapy, a customized treatment plan, and peer support groups. Bicycle Health’s mission is to address the country’s number one public health crisis by helping to reduce stigmas associated with opioid addiction and providing access to affordable, convenient, and confidential tele-OUD treatment for individuals in need. The company’s “whole person” approach to treatment encourages patients to focus on their life passions and goals, which has been shown to play a vital role in recovery.

About BMJ Innovations
BMJ Innovations is one of more than 60 specialist journals published by BMJ. The title promotes research that offers new, cost-effective medical devices, technologies, processes and systems which improve patient care. It is a collaboration between BMJ and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

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