Need ADHD medication but no doctor or insurance in NYC
March 24, 2013 8:00 PM   Subscribe

Need ADHD medication but no doctor or insurance in NYC

So I recently got laid off and have relocated from the West Coast to New York City. I had a psychiatrist who was treating me for ADHD, but haven't found a new one yet because I've just moved, and my health insurance ended with the old job. From MeFi I've heard good things about the Hallowell Center; would I be able to make an appointment with them to get treatment, and be able to pay for the doctor visit out of pocket? Also since I have the name of a doctor (several, actually) who diagnosed and treated me with ADHD (using Ritalin), would that be enough to get me back on the road towards medication? Would I have to go through an assessment again, or would a doctor be able to call up a previous doctor if I sign a consent form giving permission to disclose my medical history? Ironically enough I have prescriptions that my previous doctor wrote me, but they can't be filled since I'm in a new state. From Hallowell's web site it says they don't take insurance; my question is more about getting treatment, and finding a doctor who will write me a prescription for medication. I've left a message and hope to hear from them, but are there any other ADHD centers or doctors whom I can deal with if they have a long waiting list? Also in NY State do any general practitioners write prescriptions for ADHD medication, or is that something only psychiatrists tend to do? Finding a full time therapist (ideally psychiatrist, or psychologist) would probably be a separate person than the psychiatrist who writes the ADHD medication, correct?)
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't currently see a mental health professional, but due to my looooong history of ADHD assessments and med prescriptions, my primary care physician is OK with writing my scripts for Adderall. Do you have an NYC GP yet? (I am in NYC)
posted by lalex at 8:34 PM on March 24, 2013


The Ryan Center (various locations) is great even if you're not looking for a sliding scale.

For Schedule II stuff, I can't imagine that any doctor would write an Rx without an assessment. But if your file is in order, how bad could the bureaucracy be?
posted by skbw at 8:39 PM on March 24, 2013


1. Could you call the old psychiatrist, and have them mail you a physical prescription for the next month or so, to help you get medication in the meantime?

2. As for talk therapy, I always went to a therapist for that. Using my Psychiatrist for talking times would have cost me more than $300 an hour. My last therapist, by contrast, was less than half that costwise.
posted by spinifex23 at 8:45 PM on March 24, 2013


Search for psychiatrists on ZocDoc; many are out of network with all insurances, and the initial appointment will run you $100-$300 (call to ask the cost), payable by check at the appointment. If you already have a diagnosis and a history with a certain medication, many will write you the script in the first appointment and just do refills and follow ups over the phone, some requiring an annual in-person meeting (in fact, there are several psychiatrists on ZocDoc that reviewers mention to be a "candy man" - this is quite common in NYC). Once you find a doctor and set up an appointment, have your old doctor's office send over your records, to make the process even easier. If you have your old doctor mail you a prescription to hold you over, be sure they use the correct prescription paper - certain scheduled drugs require special prescription paper in NYS, and some out of state doctors aren't aware of this.
posted by melissasaurus at 6:09 AM on March 25, 2013


Would I have to go through an assessment again, or would a doctor be able to call up a previous doctor if I sign a consent form giving permission to disclose my medical history?

Maybe, it's really going to depend on the doctor and NYC local and NY state laws. I'd be leery going to a "candy man" psychiatrist since your records can (and probably will) be subpoenaed should the doc in question run afoul of laws. I had this happen during graduate school and, while I had nothing to hide and was not "candy shopping", it was very aggravating to know my treatment records would be reviewed and possibly public record. Just something to consider, YMMV.
posted by playertobenamedlater at 6:44 AM on March 25, 2013


We've had good luck with a doctor in one state calling in a prescription to Walgreens, which was then picked up at a Walgreens store in NYC. Psychiatric drugs may have additional restrictions, but it might be worth a try.
posted by CathyG at 6:56 AM on March 25, 2013


I can't help you with the doctor but I buy my meds using goodrx. I save a ton of money compared to if I use prescription card from my insurance company.
posted by zaxour at 7:53 AM on March 25, 2013


From MeFi I've heard good things about the Hallowell Center; would I be able to make an appointment with them to get treatment, and be able to pay for the doctor visit out of pocket?

Yes. You should have no problem with this, the Hallowell center doesn't take insurance anyway.

GPs can write prescriptions for ADHD medications, but in my experience do not like to unless it is something you are currently taking. Ritalin is a controlled substance so obtaining an Rx and filling it can be a bit of a pain. I believe doctors are limited to calling in to a pharmacy a five day supply, for example.

It was my experience that the Hallowell center made things fairly painless, when you speak with their patient intake counselor on the phone, ask them about forwarding your records from your old doctor. They have therapists there are well, my psychiatrist recommended one who she thought would be a good fit for me. The only additional testing she sent me for was an EKG.

I know a couple other psychiatrists in NYC if you need any names--memail me.
posted by inertia at 8:59 AM on March 25, 2013


Factoid: a doctor can write three prescriptions for ritalin per visit. Each prescription can only be for 30 days, but adding them up can give you 90 days. When you do see someone, ask for this. I see my psychiatrist four times a year now unless I want to talk about adjustments to medication.
posted by Hactar at 2:41 PM on March 25, 2013


Oh, and to CathyG's comment, ritalin cannot be called it in New York. You need physical prescriptions.
posted by Hactar at 2:42 PM on March 25, 2013


Ritalin can be called in to a pharmacy in New York, but only a five day supply. I am not sure if this is new, my doctor did it for me recently.
posted by inertia at 4:59 AM on March 27, 2013


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