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Hilary Ortega joined the mental telehealth firm Done in August 2020 and was later promoted to lead nurse practitioner. She left the company four months later, saying she was alarmed by its practices, which she said included firing any provider who accumulated three negative customer reviews. 

Hilary Ortega joined the mental telehealth firm Done in August 2020 and was later promoted to lead nurse practitioner. She left the company four months later, saying she was alarmed by its practices, which she said included firing any provider who accumulated three negative customer reviews. 

Photographer: Scott McIntyre/Bloomberg

Under Scrutiny, Some Telehealth Firms Are Rethinking ADHD Drugs

Cerebral tells nurses to stop writing new prescriptions for certain controlled substances as DEA interviews employees

The largest online mental health startup has tightened its prescription practices after criticism by medical professionals that its aggressive social-media marketing and workplace culture made some addictive medications too easy to get. And there are signs that scrutiny of mental telehealth is only intensifying.

On Wednesday, SoftBank-financed Cerebral announced it would stop writing new prescriptions for drugs that treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, such as Adderall and Ritalin. That announcement came after a recently departed executive alleged in a lawsuit that Cerebral’s chief medical officer had told employees the company’s goal was to prescribe stimulants to 100% of its ADHD patients as part of a plan to increase customer retention. The company has denied that contention.