Submitted by Health Karma, November 2021
Telehealth solutions have exploded in popularity since the start of the pandemic. They’re used 38 times more often now than before COVID-19, and it’s easy to understand why. They’ve provided a lifeline for people who cannot visit doctors in person due to COVID-19 risks, distance barriers, childcare gaps, and numerous other reasons. Moving forward, about 40% of people plan to continue engaging with virtual care providers.
Despite its popularity, people still have questions about virtual care options. For starters, many folks wonder whether they can use telehealth for prescriptions. The short answer is yes; telehealth providers prescribe medication during virtual visits just like a doctor would during an in-person visit. As a result, telehealth improves access to care and access to necessary medications.
How to Access Prescriptions Through Virtual Care Providers
Considering providers are seeing 50 to 175 times more patients via virtual care than before the pandemic, it’s safe to assume that telehealth is here to stay. It’s also important that patients understand how to use telehealth for prescriptions. Here are four helpful tips on how to get started:
1. Request a visit with a virtual care provider online.
Start by visiting a virtual care portal. This is where you can access virtual urgent care, virtual primary care, or virtual behavioral health services. Depending on the nature of your appointment, these portals can connect you with a 24/7 medical provider immediately or allow you to schedule an appointment within 24 hours with the provider of your choice. Some telehealth providers feature a care coordinator who can direct you to the best solution for your medical needs.
2. Update your patient records.
When scheduling a virtual visit, you will probably be asked to provide your main reasons for seeking care. From there, a care coordinator can update your electronic health record with all of your symptoms. Be as open and honest as possible when discussing your current symptoms and your medical history. Your doctor is not visiting with you in person, which means they need you to provide the fullest possible picture. You can also use the portal to send additional notes, files, or pictures that you’d like your doctor to review.
3. Determine your prescription needs.
During your visit, your virtual care provider will prescribe medication as necessary. Virtual urgent care providers typically focus on products that quickly address short-term injuries and infections, such as antibiotics and antihistamines. Patients with chronic illnesses should consult virtual primary care providers for more thorough long-term care.
If you are transitioning to a new insurance plan or doctor, you can request refills for up to 90 days within a six-month period to secure medication. To do this, your doctor might require proof of a recent prescription. Whatever the circumstance, there are many options when using telehealth for prescriptions.
4. Your provider will send prescriptions to your local pharmacy.
After your virtual appointment, your provider will send your prescription to a local verified pharmacy near you, which should be ready within an hour of your appointment for your purchase and pick-up. You can get prescription-saving coupons for your medications through Health KarmaRx, to save even more in your healthcare journey.
Telehealth is a great way to address your healthcare needs safely and conveniently. Having the option to use telehealth for prescriptions makes it even better. To learn more about Health Karma’s Virtual Care membership plan, click here.