Can I Use Telemedicine to Fill Behavioral Medications?

April 25, 2020

Clinical Contributors to this Story

Courtney Emery, DNP, PMHNP-BC contributes to topics such as Behavioral Health.

By: Steve Bove

COVID-19 has us all scrambling for normalcy, and it’s more important than ever that we maintain perspective. Running out of paper towels is an inconvenience. Running out of medicine is an emergency.

However, you may be wondering if behavioral medications are available to be filled via telemedicine. We talked to our experts at Hackensack Meridian Carrier Clinic about what individuals can expect.

“The great majority of medications can continue to be refilled as usual without interruption. Your provider may request to speak with you or schedule a telepsychiatry visit,” says Courtney Emery, DNP, PMHNP-BC, a psychiatric nurse practitioner at Carrier Clinic.

According to Emery, Governor Murphy recently signed legislation (A3860) into effect in New Jersey, which allows providers and individuals more flexibility in accessing telehealth services for the duration of the public health emergency.

“Anyone with prescription concerns should use this opportunity to get a leg up on the process as much as possible,” she says.

What You Can Do

Individuals can help ensure their medications are filled on schedule by staying proactive and flexible, Emery says. This includes not being afraid to ask questions and being realistic about turnaround time.

Other tips Emery recommends looking into include:

Consolidating Your Visits

If you are taking a medication that requires bloodwork monitoring, ask your provider to help make a plan to reduce or consolidate visits to your laboratory.

Additional Turnaround Time

Notify your provider or pharmacy sooner than you typically would that you will need a refill (5-7 days), which allows plenty of time should there be any questions or additional information needed.

Ask About an Emergency Supply

Check with your insurance and provider to find out if you are eligible for a 90-day supply of your medication to avoid multiple pharmacy visits.

Know Your Neighborhood

Find out if there is a drive-thru pharmacy near you, you can request to have your prescriptions transferred there.

Your Pharmacist Is Part Of Your Health Team

Don’t forget to utilize your pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns. They are a part of your team and can help, along with your provider, to troubleshoot any challenges.

How to Get Started With Telemedicine

Many physicians, including those at Hackensack Meridian Health, now offer telemedicine visits and it is best to contact your provider to see if they are offering virtual appointments.

Next Steps & Resources:

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.