In-person requirement FAQs

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We want to continue to offer delightful care over video. Here's why an in-person appointment is now required to do that.

Why do I need to book an in-person appointment?

The Ryan Haight Act requires that patients receiving prescriptions for controlled substances via telemedicine first be evaluated in person by their medical provider. Through the Public Health Emergency declared during the pandemic, an exemption allows for controlled prescriptions to be issued without an in person appointment. We anticipate that the Public Health Emergency will end and that patients will need to be seen in person before they can continue to receive these prescriptions via telemedicine.

What is the risk of not booking an in-person appointment?

When the Public Health Emergency is declared over on May 11, 2023, all patients without an in-person appointment will be unable to seek treatment over video. In order to guarantee continuity of care, we recommend all patients book an in-person appointment at their earliest convenience.

Can I keep seeing my provider over video once I see someone else in person?

You can keep seeing your provider until the Public Health Emergency is over. At that point, your care will transfer to the provider you saw in person.

What if I do not see this appointment type available in the Circle Medical app?

We are in the early testing phases for this appointment type and rolling it out progressively based on patient location. If you do not yet see this appointment type available, no action is needed. We will reach out when it is available in your area.

When will the Public Health Emergency end?

The Public Health Emergency will end on May 11, 2023. We do not know if it will be extended beyond this date. Once the Public Health Emergency expires, and unless other changes to the regulations are made, an in-person appointment will be needed prior to the issuance of controlled substances via telemedicine. We recommend booking this appointment now in order to avoid a potential disruption of care.

What is Circle Medical doing to advocate for its patients?

Circle Medical firmly believes that primary care providers should be allowed to practice within the full scope of their license and not be unduly restricted from treating patients over telemedicine where clinically appropriate. Telemedicine has proved a very effective means of providing safe, high quality care to patients who previously had difficulty accessing it.

In March of 2022, Circle Medical, along with the American Telemedicine Association, the American Psychiatric Association and others, wrote a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Drug Enforcement Administration advocating for the removal of the in-person requirement.

We will continue to advocate for regulatory reform via our membership in the American Telemedicine Association and by engaging with regulators and lawmakers.

While we strongly believe regulatory reform is necessary, we will nonetheless be prepared to comply with existing regulations so as to avoid a disruption in care for our patients.

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Have more questions? Feel free to send them via the chat feature in the app.