CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — President Joe Biden recently signed a resolution that officially will end the national pandemic emergency. However, the end of that emergency also means the end of some doctors visits by phone.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services took several steps to implement nationwide Telehealth accessibility during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those phone or internet visits made it easy to stay on top of your health care.
The 2020 pandemic emergency declaration also simplified or waived certain requirements for several insurance plans. These modifications made it possible to get many prescriptions approved via Telehealth. But that relaxing of the rules is soon going away.
John McNeill, who works for the Nichols Southside Pharmacy, said that people this could be a inconvenience for many people in the Coastal Bend.
"For their prescriptions to be filled, to maybe even see their doctors, now you (have to) make a doctors appointment (and) you may not get in for several months,” McNeill said. “A lot of doctors are (also) requiring the patient to go in every time, before they would prescribe their prescription."
Many medical practitioners are pushing for more in-person visits for patients.
With the increase in overdose from opioids, doctors are moving away from Telemedicine consultations when it comes to refills for controlled drugs.
"I think it has its good points. I feel bad for the patients, but then again, with today's society with the abuse and everything, I guess it's needed," McNeill said.
It will mean a big change for parents; one coastal bend dad told me having to go into the doctor for a prescription is inconvenient and unpredictable.
Christian Estrada, who is a parent, said that having to go into the doctor for a prescription is inconvenient and unpredictable.
"She'll (his daughter) come back with a fever but all she went in for was a sore throat, but she came back with a fever," Estrada said. "I don't know how that added up to the doctor's office, but if we had the Telehealth, we would've been able to just call and say, 'look this is it' and get the medication right away."
The public health emergency is set to expire on May 11, 2023.
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