Doctor on Demand offers new telemedicine service

I’ve written in the past about telemedicine companies like DocDial,* Connect2Docs,* and AmericanWell, which allow patients to connect with a doctor by calling, e-mailing, or connecting via a video hookup. These companies and others can be great options for self-pay patients, or anybody else for that matter. They offer convenient and quick access to primary care doctors at relatively low, affordable rates.

While each company has unique features, components, and aspects (Connect2Docs, for example, is what I call a ‘bundled’ package meaning it also offers other health care services, including a drug discount card and medical bill negotiation), they all operate roughly the same way. People sign up in advance, provide their medical history and other information, and in the event they need a primary care physician’s services, they can call and get a licensed doctor on the phone who can answer questions, provide medical advice, recommend treatment, write prescriptions, and refer patients for an in-person visit to the doctor. 

Obviously there are limitations to this type of medicine. But for many medical needs, getting a doctor on the phone or video hookup can be a quick, easy, and affordable way to get quality care (I’ve seen estimates that anywhere from a third to two thirds of all primary care office visits could be resolved over the phone). And for self-pay patients, quick, easy, affordable, and quality pretty much define what they’re looking for.

So I was happy to see that another telemedicine company launched within the last week, adding another option for self-pay patients to consider. Doctor on Demand offers face-to-face consultations with doctors through a smart phone, tablet, or computer. As with other telemedicine patients need to sign up in advance. 

The costs are pretty good – a 15 minute online visit only costs $40, and there are no monthly or annual membership charges. Their web site says there is ‘no wait’ and that you can ‘See a doctor in minutes,’ which is a little vague but does suggest immediate access, whereas many telemedicine services have patients call in to request a consult and get call back later, usually within an hour or so.

For $40, you get a physician who can address the following symptoms, conditions, and injuries:

    • Upper Respiratory Infection
    • Cold
    • Cough
    • Influenza
    • Nasal Congestion
    • Lab Interpretation
    • Allergies
    • Fever
    • Athlete’s Foot
    • Sports Injuries
    • Rolled Ankle
    • Travel Medicine
    • Bladder infections
    • Cellulitis – Skin Infection
    • Fever
    • Eye Irritation
    • Asthma – (stable/non-emergent)
    • Yeast Infection
    • Nausea
    • Back Pain
    • Skin Infection
    • Seborrheic Dermatitis – Dry Scalp
    • Vaginal Itching
    • Heartburn – Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
    • Dry Skin – Eczema
    • Rash
    • Nosebleed
    • Bee Sting
    • Pink Eye
    • Genital Lesions
    • Depression
    • Diarrhea
    • Dry Scalp
    • Hay Fever
    • Lice
    • Poison Oak / Poison Ivy
    • Scabies

They also helpfully include a list of things that they can’t address over the phone:

Doctors on Demand is NOT appropriate for: Any medical problem that is life-threatening or that may cause impairment. Some examples of medical issues that require immediate attention in an emergency room include:

  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Significant, uncontrolled bleeding
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Unconsciousness
  • Poisoning
  • Moderate to severe burns
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Serious head, neck or back injury
  • Serious limb impairment or broken bone

And like other telemedicine services, while they can prescribe many medicines over the phone there are some that they aren’t allowed to, either for legal or liability reasons:

    • Controlled Substances/Narcotics/opioids (Oxycontin, Morphine, Methadone, Vicodin, Percocet, Fentanyl, T#3, Norco)
    • Certain Sedatives and muscle relaxants (Valium, Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, Restoril)
    • Medications that require close monitoring by a healthcare professional (Klonazepam, Abilify, Strattera, Amphetamines, Methotrexate
    • Medication that require administration by a healthcare professional or training for first time use (Embrel, Remicade, Epogen)

Telemedicine can fill a vital role for self-pay patients needing reliable access to affordable primary care, as well as anyone else who would prefer not to deal with long waits to get in to see a doctor. It’s great to see another company enter to market catering to self-pay patients, and I hope to hear from satisfied customers of Doctor on Demand sharing their experiences, just as I’ve been able to share the stories of other satisfied patients at other telemedicine providers.

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29 Responses to Doctor on Demand offers new telemedicine service

  1. Pingback: Cash-friendly doctor offices continue to spread |

  2. justinhaddin says:

    Extremely beneficial post. Pretty cool read! Can I get a prescription from the doctor online?

    • says:

      Yes, you are able to get prescriptions from telemedicine doctors.

  3. Sarah says:

    Can the Dr.s prescribe sleep aids?

    • says:

      To the best of my knowledge they can prescribe most anything a doctor could in an in-person visit, although they may have self-imposed guidelines on certain drugs such as narcotics, and there are some that as a simple matter of medical competence they won’t prescribe without being able to perform a physical examination. I’m not sure how sleep-aids fit into that though.

  4. Maureen Lee says:

    Can dr on demand prescribe antidepresents?

    • says:

      I don’t know for sure, but I doubt it – that’s not generally the sort of diagnosis that can be done in a 10-15 minute phone/video call.

      • brit says:

        Yes, actually it is assessed in about 15 minutes through a series of questions -personal experiences

  5. eVisit says:

    Doctor on Demand is a great service. Thanks for sharing telemedicine news with your audience!

  6. I live in southeast ky does Dr on demand have a Dr for the state I live in

    • says:

      Probably best to direct this inquiry to the company, I don’t know for certain which states they operate in.

  7. Jessica says:

    My primary physician has diagnosed me with chronic pain and anxiety/depression. She wants me to go to a psychiatrist and pain management, but my insurance is in the middle of switching over, care your doctors help me with this..

  8. Jamie says:

    Can the dr prescribe antibiotics for tooth pain? I can’t see a dentist for a few weeks

  9. chanda hornung says:

    I am needing to get medication to help with my depression and anxiety.
    ..can they help me with this

  10. Levi moores says:

    How can I get a doc online. And get real Walgreens meds

  11. Levi moores says:

    Ok so can’t pay cash for doc on line ??thats weird

  12. Linda watts says:

    I have recently moved..i dont have insurance or primary care dr in my new area but have established perscriptions..can Dr on demand manage and perscribe my perscriptions?

    • Sean Parnell says:

      It depends on what the prescription is for (no narcotics, I’d think), and the doctor you are seen by through Dr. On Demand (or any other service) will probably need to re-diagnose or at least confirm the diagnosis that led to the prescription, but I’d think so long as those are done they’d be able to handle this. Best to contact them directly though and ask what sort of conditions they are and are not able to treat and prescribe for.

  13. Jerry Cartwright says:

    Can they help me with my anxiety it’s so bad that I can’t hardly even leave the house so I need a doctor that I can video chat with

    • Sean Parnell says:

      I really wouldn’t know, that’s the sort of thing that you’d have to find out in a call with them. I do know there are phone counseling services that are available and that might be helpful for anxiety, I’ve read good things about this one: Hope that is useful for you.

  14. Drea says:

    Can a Dr. On demand prescribe birth control?

  15. Maegen says:

    Hmm… interesting article. I used a telemedicine company earlier in the year and it was definitely convenient, the doctor I had seemed fairly distracted though. Still beats a trip to CareNow at 10:00 at night, that’s for sure!

  16. Michele says:

    I see where they can not prescribe for certain sedatives – does that include Ambien?

  17. Harry Fox says:

    I really appreciate the insight here in this post and confident it’s going to be helpful to me and many others. I’m wondering if you or anyone else has additional sources for me to read further and to be able to dig a little deeper?

  18. Shannon Metzger says:

    I was seeing a doctor for hormone therapy. He was very expensive (upward of $700 per visit) and I had to stop seeing him. I have an appointment with an endocrinologist in June, but in the meantime, I have run out of my progesterone. Is it possible to get it though doctor on demand?

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