Psychiatrist explains dangers of NP-staffed mental telehealth platforms
Rebekah Bernard MD and Niran Al-Agba MD
The COVID19 pandemic created both challenges and opportunities in the healthcare sector. One major winner: telehealth startup companies offering ‘virtual’ medical care, including psychiatric care. But instead of hiring physicians, these companies hire nurse practitioners to care for some of the most complex and vulnerable patients in our nation.
These companies got an even bigger boost when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency relaxed requirements for the prescribing of controlled substances due to the COVID19 pandemic. Online mental health companies quickly shifted gears to prescribing medications typically available only through a face-to-face visit, especially stimulant medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Today we are joined by psychiatrist Ziba Rezaee, MD to help us understand the rise of for-profit online mental health companies and the risks to patients.