Medical policies

K Health-affiliated clinicians can remotely and safely treat a wide array of patients across hundreds of conditions. Our goal is to make high-quality care as accessible and affordable for as many people as possible while practicing responsible medicine. There are some scenarios where we believe the best course of action is to refer a patient to in-person care rather than treat them remotely. Patient health and safety is always our priority.

The following are the most common scenarios where we will NOT treat patients remotely, and will instead refer out to in-person care:

  • We can’t treat patients seeking ongoing care and prescriptions for some serious chronic conditions, particularly ones that require in-person physical examination or specialty consultation for safe management. In some cases, K Health may help diagnose and prescribe refills for these conditions, when medically appropriate, but we will refer a patient to in-person care when necessary.
    • For adults, these conditions include but are not limited to: conditions requiring controlled substances, Type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes, conditions requiring immunosuppressive therapy, patients being actively treated for cancer (including chemotherapy or radiotherapy), patients that have significant immunosuppression (including HIV), oxygen-dependent patients, patients with history of organ transplant or organ failure (including heart failure, kidney failure and liver failure), patients currently hospitalized or in hospice care, conditions requiring certain injectable medications for treatment, and other serious medical conditions requiring specialty care or close monitoring with an in-person provider
  • K Health can treat and manage many common chronic conditions in adults through our Primary Care Program, such as asthma, eczema, hypertension, high cholesterol, type II diabetes, hypothyroidism, gout, migraines and more
  • We cannot treat anyone who is or may be pregnant.
  • We cannot treat patients who have sustained animal bites or scratches (including venomous spiders, scorpions and snakes) or patients seeking treatment for an animal related injury.
  • We cannot treat adults with certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
    • We can both test and treat chlamydia for adults
    • We can test but not treat gonorrhea or syphilis for adults (as these treatments require an injection)
    • We cannot treat HIV
  • We cannot treat patients with more severe behavioral health conditions including, but not limited to, severe depression, suicidal ideation, bipolar disorder/mania, substance abuse, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and/or ADD/ADHD.
  • For children (age<18 years), these conditions include autoimmune, collagen vascular and rheumatic disease, underlying cardiac conditions, kidney disease, and neurological conditions such as seizure disorders
    • We cannot provide developmental or ADHD assessments to parents with learning concerns about their child. We will provide guidance and some resources but not treatment or medication.
    • We cannot treat children with sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
    • We cannot treat children for mental health issues such as depression or anxiety.

Patient health and safety is always our priority. While continuing to provide high-quality care, we do have limitations in conditions that K does treat:

  • While we do offer treatment for the following conditions, the clinicians may want testing prior to initiating any treatment. Additionally, we are limited in the number of times a patient can be treated prior to needing referral to in-person care. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • UTI
    • Bacterial Vaginosis and Vaginal Yeast infections
    • Dental Infections
    • Male Urinary symptoms
    • STI

What we do and do not prescribe

K Health-affiliated clinicians can prescribe most medications to treat acute and chronic conditions as well as to manage some mental health conditions. There are several types of medications we will not prescribe—those that are considered high risk or those that require ongoing physical evaluation.

Medications we do not prescribe include:

  • We do not prescribe controlled substances including:
    • Weight loss medications such as phentermine
    • Stimulants for shift work disorder, such as Provigil
    • Anti-anxiety or sedative medications, such as Xanax (Alprazolam), Ambien (Zolpidem), Lunesta (Eszopiclone), and Ativan (Lorazepam)
    • Prescription pain relievers and muscle relaxers such as carisoprodol (brand names include Soma and Vanadol), Butalbital, tramadol (brand names include Ultram and Ultracet), gabapentin (brand names include Neurontin, Gralise, and Horizant), or any narcotic medication, such as codeine or hydrocodone
    • High-risk medications that require a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) license, or are subject to abuse
    • If you are unsure if a substance is controlled, please see these resources to look up individual drugs: Prescriber’s Digital Reference, U.S. Dept. of Justice DEA Diversion Control Division
  • We do not prescribe ADHD medication and do not enroll patients in our Behavioral Health program who are also on stimulant medication.
  • We do not write new prescriptions for most chronic conditions in children
    • For children, these conditions include: rheumatic disease, underlying cardiac conditions, and kidney diseases
    • Notable exceptions include asthma and eczema, which we can write new prescriptions for
  • We do not prescribe medication that requires blood work to monitor, such as lithium, Warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), carbamazepine, and more).
  • We do not prescribe antivirals for COVID including Paxlovid.
  • We do no prescribe methotrexate or other immunosuppressive medications.
  • We do not prescribe certain injectable medications.
  • We do not provide prescriptions for pregnant patients.

Our policy on prescriptions you are currently taking

K Health-affiliated clinicians will prescribe medications you are currently taking whenever they deem it is safe and medically appropriate to do so. In order to safely prescribe medication, a patient needs to either (a) meet our prescribing criteria outlined below, or (b) have their condition actively managed through K Health’s unlimited membership.

For people with a K Health unlimited membership (which includes those in our Primary Care and Mental Health programs):

  • For members with chronic medications, a care team can write prescriptions for many chronic conditions, including hypertension, high cholesterol, type II diabetes, hypothyroidism, asthma, gout, migraines and more. The care team can also manage chronic prescription refills on an ongoing basis.
  • For members receiving anxiety and depression medications shipped to their home, prescriptions are adjusted (as needed) and sent every 30 days based on an active reassessment with a clinician.
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