Tell our Governors: Lift Telemedicine Restrictions on Birth Control Now

Tell our Governors: Lift Telemedicine Restrictions on Birth Control Now

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Simple Health started this petition to Governor Doug Ducey and

The coronavirus pandemic has upended access to health care, creating a unique set of challenges for women who need to fill birth control prescriptions.

According to a June 2020 study from the Guttmacher Institute, 29% of white women, 38% of Black women, and 45% of Latinas said they were struggling to access birth control because of social distancing forcing doctors offices and pharmacies to close or limit appointments. 

Across the country, online birth control providers that use asynchronous telehealth models like Simple Health, Pandia Health, Project Ruby, and their competitors are filling the gap. At the same time, this country is facing a physician shortage, and regulation that supports asynchronous telemedicine is becoming increasingly more important as a means to allow practitioners to provide care to more patients than the traditional, in-person model would allow. 

And yet, over 20 states still have legislation that makes utilizing asynchronous telemedicine for birth control prescriptions anywhere from difficult to nearly impossible. This limits the ability of telehealth companies to offer services in those states, forcing patients to travel to a clinician's office and a pharmacy to fill basic birth control medication. 

In States like Indiana, Arizona, New Jersey, New Mexico and Nevada, telemedicine regulation is especially restrictive, and patients suffer as a result.

In Indiana, for example, telemedicine is defined by the state in a way that excludes care that can be provided from certain telemedicine companies, mandating a phone call or video in addition to a questionnaire in order to be considered telemedicine. Similarly, states like New Mexico and Arizona require synchronous, face-to-face video for all telemedicine; New Jersey requires a phone call for each interaction. And in Nevada, patients are required to have a pre-existing relationship with a doctor in order to be prescribed via telemedicine. 

Regardless of the form they take, these extra limitations mean one thing: reduced access for patients. Now more than ever, we should be focused on ways to maximize clinicians’ limited time while offering more flexibility to patients, and asynchronous telemedicine can be one answer.

There’s already clear precedent for change. 

In Idaho Governor Brad Little recognized how this issue was impacting his constituents, and signed an executive order that gives online providers the freedom to continue using expanded telehealth and Health services to patients beyond the coronavirus emergency

It is possible for states to act fast and implement changes that allow telemedicine in their States for the duration of the pandemic. Our Governors and State leaders must act now.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, and Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb - it's time to stop forcing women to set up an appointment or travel to a clinician's office and a pharmacy in the middle of a pandemic to fill basic birth control prescriptions and refills. Expand telemedicine legislation now to include a wider range of birth control providers and prescribers today!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 7,500!
At 7,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get a reaction from the decision maker!