Must-Tries Real moms re­veal whether on-de­mand doc­tor apps are a cure-all or just another headache.

Health­care for your kids from the com­fort of your couch? From house calls to vir­tual ap­point­ments, we asked work­ing moms to test new ser­vices that prom­ise on-de­mand doc­tors for new­borns to adults.

Working Mother - - Contents -


Serves: Avail­able in and around Los An­ge­les,

Or­ange County, San Diego and San Fran­cisco, as well as Wash­ing­ton, DC, and north­ern Vir­ginia

Cost: Heal ac­cepts many in­sur­ance plans, and most pa­tients are charged only their co-pay. With­out in­sur­ance, there’s a $99 flat fee for an ap­point­ment. Ser­vices per­formed dur­ing the ap­point­ment are in­cluded in the price, un­less oth­er­wise spec­i­fied.

About: Heal sends a doc­tor to your home (or just about any­where else) for ur­gent and pri­mary-care is­sues within two hours of your re­quest. Check­ups can be booked a day or two in ad­vance. With more than 75 li­censed, cer­ti­fied physi­cians on staff, qual­i­fied pe­di­a­tri­cians and fam­ily prac­ti­tion­ers are avail­able to meet with chil­dren for sick vis­its, well vis­its, camp and school phys­i­cals, and vac­ci­na­tions. Heal’s doc­tors can han­dle any­thing from strep to stitches, and are able to pre­scribe med­i­ca­tions and order lab work or imag­ing. Sched­ule ap­point­ments on­line, over the phone or via the Heal app, where pay­ment and in­sur­ance in­for­ma­tion can be saved. View doc­tor pro­files on­line, and re­quest a spe­cific prac­ti­tioner by call­ing the pa­tient-sup­port team.

Doc­tor On De­mand


Serves: All 50 states and Wash­ing­ton, DC

Cost: Many lead­ing in­sur­ance plans are ac­cepted, and the cost is sim­i­lar to an of­fice co-pay. Pa­tients with­out in­sur­ance can pay cash: $75 for a med­i­cal visit, $79-plus for a psy­chol­ogy visit, and $229 for an ini­tial psy­chi­a­try visit.

About: Con­nect 24/7 with a board-cer­ti­fied, li­censed physi­cian over live video in min­utes. Each 15-minute ap­point­ment starts with a re­view of your in­take form and your child’s cur­rent symp­toms. Thanks to high-def­i­ni­tion video, the doc­tor may then take a closer look at the is­sue—yes, that could mean putting the cam­era up to your lit­tle one’s mouth for a look at their throat, for ex­am­ple —or even ask you to help per­form a phys­i­cal exam. The prac­ti­tion­ers are able to pre­scribe med­i­ca­tion and order lab work, and can treat 18 of the top 20 med­i­cal is­sues seen by ur­gent care and the ER, in­clud­ing rashes, sprains and vom­it­ing. Ap­point­ments can be made on the web­site or app, and video calls can be made by smart­phone, tablet or com­puter. You can browse physi­cians’ pro­files or choose to see the next avail­able doc­tor. “I made an ap­point­ment us­ing the app for the late evening to ac­com­mo­date my sched­ule—a nice change from cram­ming in an in­con­ve­nient trip to the pe­di­a­tri­cian’s of­fice. I had a chance to read about the physi­cian I was matched with be­fore our call, which made me more com­fort­able. Dur­ing our ap­point­ment, he lis­tened to my de­scrip­tion of my 2-year-old’s wheez­ing cough, an­swered my ques­tions thought­fully, and pro­vided me with pos­si­ble so­lu­tions. He even rec­om­mended a nat­u­ral op­tion when I wasn’t pleased with one of the sug­gested med­i­ca­tions. Be­tween the con­ve­nience and the fact that they ac­cept in­sur­ance, us­ing the ser­vice again is a no-brainer for me!” —Stacey Charles, Queens, NY, global strate­gist for ad­ver­tis­ing me­dia

Hello Alvin



All 50 states and Wash­ing­ton, DC

Cost: There’s an an­nual $100 sub­scrip­tion fee per fam­ily, and a $45 charge to speak or video chat with a physi­cian. In­sur­ance doesn’t lower the cost, but the $45 co-pay goes to­ward your de­ductible.

About: Through its part­ner­ship with the largest tele­health physi­cian net­work, Te­ladoc, Hello Alvin con­nects fam­i­lies with more than 3,000 board-cer­ti­fied, state-li­censed doc­tors, and hun­dreds of regis­tered nurses. Once you’re en­rolled, the av­er­age wait time for a voice or video con­sult with an ex­pe­ri­enced pe­di­a­tri­cian is un­der 10 min­utes, and you get un­lim­ited 24/7 ac­cess to email doc­tors and talk to regis­tered nurses over the phone. While you can’t choose a spe­cific prac­ti­tioner, Te­ladoc’s doc­tors av­er­age 20 years of ex­pe­ri­ence. Plus, they can treat more than 30 per­cent of the con­cerns that send par­ents to the emer­gency room, ur­gent care and the pe­di­a­tri­cian’s of­fice—in­clud­ing up­per re­s­pi­ra­tory in­fec­tions, pink eye and more. Ap­point­ments can be re­quested from your phone, tablet, desk­top or the Te­ladoc app, and a doc­tor will call you back by phone or video chat. “I added the app to my phone and booked an ap­point­ment for my 3-yearold son’s con­ges­tion, fever and cough­ing. The app was easy to use and it took only 10 min­utes to get a video con­fer­ence call from a doc­tor. The doc­tor was friendly, but we chat­ted for less than five min­utes. She di­ag­nosed my son with a cold and rec­om­mended I con­tinue treat­ing his fever with Tylenol. While I loved the con­ve­nience, I’d be more likely to use it again if in­sur­ance cov­ered the full fee.” —Am­ber Knight, Statham, GA, child­care as­so­ciate, YMCA

By Jes­sica Laird

New apps like Heal can send a doc­tor to your home (vir­tu­ally or IRL) in a snap.

“Mak­ing an ap­point­ment on Heal’s web­site was easy, al­though when I signed in on a Satur­day to sched­ule my 4-yearold’s well visit, they were booked un­til Mon­day. I was put off by hav­ing to book a twohour ap­point­ment win­dow, but our doc­tor showed up...

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.