Your Guide on the Telehealth Prescribing Law Update
On November 11, 2023, updated regulations on prescribing controlled substances via the Internet come into force. Here, you can learn more about what can change for you and how to continue getting treatment online.
What is Happening?
The public health emergency (PHE) declared in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic expires on May 11, 2023. Among other flexibilities, PHE made it easier to get controlled substances (Adderall, Xanax, Ritalin, etc.) prescribed via the Internet. Patients could get such medications after seeing a healthcare provider online. They were not required to have in-person visits during the whole course of treatment.
The new regulation changes this rule for those who begin their online treatment starting from November 11, 2023. It becomes compulsory to have an in-person appointment with a physician if you require controlled substances. After an evaluation, you get a doctor’s referral that allows you to continue getting those medications prescribed through telehealth.
If you are our current patient and you are prescribed controlled substances, you continue treatment as it is.
You should have an in-person appointment with a primary care physician (PCP) and provide us with a referral before November 11, 2024.
If you are going to have your initial appointment at MEDvidi after November 10, 2023, and require controlled substances, you can only get them prescribed for 30 days.
To refill your prescription, you will have to visit a primary care physician and provide us with a referral in 30 days. A referral is valid for a year and then should be renewed.
To receive schedule II drugs after November 10, 2023, you need to have a PCP referral to get the initial 30-day prescription as well.
What is a Referral?
A qualifying telemedicine referral is a document that confirms your rights on getting controlled substances prescribed via the Internet. A referral is provided by your physician after at least one in-person evaluation.
A referral letter is valid for a year. It means that with this document, you can receive prescriptions for controlled substances online within one year. Then, you have to see a healthcare provider in person again to renew it. If required by your doctor, you may need to have such an appointment earlier.
How to Get a Referral
We aim to provide mental health treatment that complies with the regulations and fulfills your individual needs. We also aim to keep the treatment process convenient for you.
If you need further assistance, please contact our Hotline at (504) 414-5095 and press 6.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, May 11, 2023 was a preliminary date. According to the latest information from the DEA, the enactment of the new regulations is postponed until November 11, 2023.
The new regulation becomes valid on November 11, 2023.
If you currently receive your prescriptions for controlled substances online at MEDvidi, you can continue your treatment without a referral letter until November 11, 2024.
If you become a MEDvidi patient on November 11, 2023 or later, you should provide a referral letter to get schedule II drugs. Schedule III-V drugs can be prescribed without a referral for 30 days only.
Controlled substances are drugs and other substances with high risk or potential for abuse and addiction. Because of that, the government controls their distribution and delivery.
Several medications for the treatment of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), depression, anxiety disorders, insomnia, and other conditions fall under the category of controlled substances.
A qualifying telemedicine referral is required to get prescribed controlled substances:
- Schedule III-V controlled substances can be prescribed for a 30-day period without a referral. A referral is needed to refill a prescription later through telemedicine services.
To get schedule II controlled substances (Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, etc.) even for a 30-day period you have to provide a referral letter.
Note that these rules become valid on November 11, 2023.
- If you are our new patient (having an initial appointment at MEDvidi after November 10, 2023) and you need a schedule II drug, you have to provide a referral at the initial appointment to get a prescription. You can have an appointment without a referral as well, but we can process a prescription only after getting a referral.
- If you are our current patient (who started treatment at MEDvidi in March 2020 or later) and you were prescribed schedule II drugs, you can continue treatment. You have to provide a referral before November 11, 2024.
You get non-controlled substances prescribed as usual. These changes are related to controlled substances only.
If you require a schedule III-V drug and have never received a prescription for them via the Internet, you will be able to get it prescribed online for 30 days only. To refill that prescription online, a referral will be needed.
You can download the referral form here and send it to your physician via email or print it and take it to your appointment. If you are a current MEDvidi patient, your primary care physician should provide us with a referral via eFax +1 888 395 9144 before November 11, 2024. If you are a new patient (starting treatment at MEDvidi on November 11, 2023 or later) and receive a prescription for a controlled substance, you have to provide a referral in 30 days to refill your prescription online.
Your referral letter is valid for 12 months. During this time, you can refill your prescription for controlled substances via telehealth services to treat a condition mentioned in the referral. If a healthcare provider you see online defines another mental health condition and changes your diagnosis or makes another one, you have to get a new referral to get controlled substances for it.
- You won’t need a referral if you don’t get any medication prescribed.
- After November 11, 2023, new patients can get schedule III-V medication prescribed for 30 days without a referral. You will need a referral to refill a prescription online.
- If you get schedule II medication prescribed for the first time after November 11, 2023, you can get a referral after an appointment, and once we receive it, we will process your prescription.