Telehealth is rising continuously and it uses various advanced technologies for the exchange of information which helps to diagnose and treat diseases and injuries. Telehealth is emerging as an effective and sustainable solution for precaution, prevention and treatment to the spread of COVID-19 during this global pandemic. Virtual doctors and telehealth platforms are creating more efficient process for getting diagnoses and prescription treatment online. Telehealth is connecting healthcare consumers, physicians, and health systems enabling everyone, especially symptomatic patients, to stay at home and communicate with physicians via various virtual channels.

We witnessed how virtual doctors and telehealth platforms are proving helpful in healthcare emergencies such as covid-19 but most physicians are looking for the answer of “Can a virtual doctors prescribe online?”.

Let’s understand how virtual doctors visit work, steps in prescription, and how it’s possible for a virtual doctor to provide online prescription:

How does a virtual doctor visit work?

Health care is more convenient with a virtual doctor visits. In this care model, people can see and talk to a doctor via smartphone, tablet or computer. This means that patients don’t have to go to a doctor’s office or sit in a waiting room. Instead, they visit with a doctor as per their convenience.

Some of the following health issues where virtual visit includes:


Bladder or urinary tract infections





Migraines or headaches

Pink eye


Seasonal flu

Sinus problems

Sore throat


However, virtual visits are not intended to cater chronic or complicated conditions.

You may be prescribed medication for treatment or symptom management at home after diagnosis from your virtual doctor visit. 

Let’s understand various steps in the virtual doctor prescription:

1. Patient needs to book an online appointment.

2. Patients can freely chat with the doctor just like regular hospital visit and they describe symptoms, medical history and can ask any questions to a virtual doctor.

3. If necessary, the doctor writes a prescription and send digital prescription directly to the pharmacy of patient’s choice.

4. Patient can pick medication at the local pharmacy.

Moreover, The Federation of State Medical Boards and other non-profit organizations are supporting continuously to endorse regulations and national policies that are helpful to promote prescriptions from virtual doctors.

However, to provide online prescription patients need to meet certain technical and medical criteria.

Limitations of virtual doctor prescription

We know that the healthcare industry of the US highly regulated and there are different policies from state to state for medication.

The same thing applies to the virtual doctors. Here policies are differ from state to state, platform to platform and doctor to doctor for online prescription. Hence there are certain limitations for virtual doctor prescription. 

Here are some examples for which prescriptions that all virtual doctors cannot write include:

Stimulants, including Adderall and Ritalin

Medicinal marijuana

Sedatives and sleep aids, including Xanax, Ambien, Ativan, and Lunesta

Antipsychotic medications such as Seroquel, Zyprexa, Risperdol

Narcotics, like morphine, oxycodone, and Vicodin

COVID-19 pandemic is going to be transformative, the pandemic changes practice patterns and how physicians deliver care. Nearly half of doctors in the US are using telehealth to treat patients. Moreover, the rising use of various advanced technology enables physicians to treat patients remotely and saves a lot of time.

Are you looking to provide virtual care and facing any doubts regarding telemedicine reimbursement? We are HIPAA compliant professionals and we can help you in your transformation as well as all billing coding requirements.

Published By - Medical Billers and Coders
Published Date - Apr-07-2021 Back

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