New app allows Indiana patients to order birth control online
A new app allows women to order birth control without having to go to a doctor. Nurx is certified to deliver contraceptives in 15 different states, including Indiana.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A new app allows women to order birth control without having to go to a doctor. Nurx is certified to deliver contraceptives in 15 different states, including Indiana.
“We’ve seen an enormous amount of barriers accessing contraceptives in Indiana,” said Maryam Fikri, a Nurx representative.
Fikri said Nurx is meeting a demand in the Hoosier state. She said Indiana has some of the lowest access to affordable birth control, adding that Nurx breaks geographical and cost barriers and is more efficient."
On the iPhone app or online, the patients would set up an account with personal and insurance information. Then the patient needs to take a quick health survey to see which brand would be best suitable. A Nurx doctor will then review the profile. If approved, the birth control is shipped for free.
Nurx accepts most major health insurance plans. Without insurance, brands start at $15 per pack. Nurx is working on a contract with the Indiana Medicaid network.
“From the American College of the OB/GYN Society, which is our national organization, and most OB’s believe access to effective contraception is every woman’s right,” said Kenneth Payne, MD.
Dr. Kenneth Payne works for Norton OB/GYN Associates. He thinks the convenience would be priceless and believes more access is a good thing, but he worries attention to detail might disappear on the digital platform.
“I wanted to make sure, from a provider perspective, that the patients are being screed appropriately,” Payne said. “My concerns are if it’s somebody’s first time, they haven’t had this stuff. They haven’t had these conversations about what hormones mean to them. Those conversations are lost if you’re doing it through an app.”
Payne encourages all women to still make an annual appointment with a doctor, even if they use Nurx.
“It doesn’t take the place of the face-to-face visit where we can encourage healthy habits,” Payne said. “Here’s what to expect from your birth control pills. Here’s where you may have spotting. Oh, you want to miss a period because you’re going to get married on the beach? How do we manipulate those things to help you? That’s not in the app.”
Fikri added that the app does have a free messaging service allowing patients to ask doctors any question at any time of the day.
“Whether they have symptom questions or they have questions about switching brands, any kind of questions they would like to ask the doctor, they have access on their app,” Fikri said.
She added that the app and website is secure and the company is HIPPA compliant.
Nurx started working in Indiana about two months ago. The service is not currently available in Kentucky, but Fikri said the company is working in the next few months to expand to several states.
She admitted the company has been faced with criticism from some conservative groups in the states they look to service, but she believes Nurx is critical for Indiana patients.
“We are unapologetically in support of making it easier to access reproductive health services, especially contraceptives,” Fikri said.
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