How to Find the Best Online Doctor
Telemedicine is a breakthrough innovation in healthcare that has successfully evolved medical care to be accessible and affordable for Americans all over the country. Whether you want to stay in the comfort and privacy of your own home or want to find a good doctor while you’re busy and on the go, online doctor consultations are a viable and cost-effective way to handle all of your non-emergency concerns. There are hundreds of telehealth providers to choose from, so finding the best online doctor seems like a daunting task. In this brief guide, we have reviewed the multiple considerations anybody should make before signing up or making an account with a provider or telemedicine application.
What is an Online Doctor?
An online doctor is someone who practices healthcare remotely or virtually, which is also known as telemedicine, and they are just as qualified (if not more) than in-person doctors to diagnose and suggest treatment options. Until recent developments, visiting with an online doctor was mainly for those in rural areas who didn’t have access to the medical professionals they needed. However, with technological advancements and innovation in healthcare, virtual medicine services are a great option for anybody to take advantage of when they want to get their medical concerns addressed quickly and easily. In fact, if you haven’t already had an online doctor’s visit, the chances are you will soon.
In most cases, all you need to see an online doctor is your personal smartphone, computer, or tablet with high-speed Wi-Fi and video chat capabilities. A faster and easier solution than scheduling an appointment months in advance for your doctor’s office, If you want to learn more about online doctors, the services they provide, and how an online doctor consultation looks, please refer to our more detailed guides on telemedicine and the benefits of an online doctor. Choosing an online doctor is a hard choice, and they all have different services and positions in the telemedicine industry. It’s important to ensure you choose the best online doctor for you, one that operates on a safe and secure platform where you know you will get high-quality care from a real licensed and certified physician.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Telemedicine Provider
There are several considerations to make when weighing out your telehealth options. While it is impossible to address what makes each and every telemedicine provider unique, the following factors tend to be key elements of a telehealth provider and may help you make the right decision for yourself.
What kind of services are you searching for?
A telehealth provider may specialize in or excel in one service. For example, some telehealth providers are specifically for men’s health and wellness for a variety of treatments, such as hair loss and erectile dysfunction. Some are specifically meant for therapy services. Others offer a wider spectrum of care with more diverse and general services. Unless you want a one-time consultation for a specialized concern, you will probably want a broader-ranging provider who will be able to address anything from anxiety to allergies.
If you are considering signing up with a singular service, you may also want to consider if they have a variety of doctors on staff, such as pediatricians, for your younger family members. If you are bilingual, you may want to consider a telemedicine service that has bilingual doctors available. If you are seeking a specialized online doctor who you cannot find close by, you may want to ensure that your chosen service has specialized doctors on staff to provide for your medical needs.
You should also consider if you want a provider who can order diagnostic imaging and laboratory testing, as well as an online doctor who can write prescriptions when it is determined it is appropriate in your particular medical situation. Not every telehealth service will be able to provide care if you do, indeed, need further testing, need a prescription for a controlled substance, or have a more complex condition. If you need urgent care to treat a bone break, a stroke, a heart attack, a snake bite, or other similarly life-threatening situations, you should always seek immediate medical attention from your closest urgent care facility or hospital emergency room.
Insurance Coverage, Price and Payment
Most telehealth providers will accept a range of insurance providers, and most will also accept patients who do not have insurance. If you do have insurance, you should always double-check with your current plan and provider to determine the final cost of virtual medical services.
Each telehealth provider varies in their flat-rate base consultation fee. Some fees may be higher depending on what services you are seeking, especially if it is about mental-health concerns. The price will probably be higher if you do not have insurance or employer coverage for telehealth services as well.
A consultation can cost as little as $25 for a minor concern or general consultation and up to $250 or more for an online psychiatric visit. Several services offer membership plans, where, for a monthly subscription fee, you can get consultations for you and your whole family at a discounted price. If you do not have insurance, check the telehealth provider’s website and consider signing up for a membership plan to find a cost-effective online doctor service.
If you are taking advantage of the ease and convenience of virtual healthcare, the website or application should be easy for you to use. This is a subjective decision, and you should explore several telehealth websites to find the right platform for you.
Secure, HIPAA-Compliant Platform
You should always use an online doctor service that is trusted. There are several telehealth companies that are scams and will take your credit card information without ever giving you the medical care that you need. While this is rare, never give your information to an untrusted service. The telehealth provider you choose should use HIPAA-compliant video conferencing software, and only authorized users (you and your doctor) should have access to your private data.
Scope of Care
Before signing up for a telehealth provider’s services, consider if you want a service that offers more comprehensive and long-term care. While it is typically recommended that virtual providers not replace your primary care provider, it may be worth it to create an account with a telehealth provider that is available for long-term, personalized virtual care. For some providers, you may have the ability to choose from a range of doctors and continue to see the same one consistently, while some services may not allow you to choose the doctor providing your care.
It may also be beneficial to consider which telehealth providers function under a patient-centered model and put your and your family’s health first. There are several telehealth providers who do not offer same-day immediate appointments. If you are considering a long-term online doctor provider, you may also want to prioritize choosing a telehealth provider with 24/7 hours so that you have access to medical care no matter what happens.
How to Find the Best Online Doctor
Now that you know all the different things you should think about before choosing an online healthcare provider, you may be wondering how to find all this information on different telehealth platforms. To find out more on any telehealth provider’s website, go to their homepage. Some may have a “What is [Telemedicine Providers’ Name]?” page. You can also click through to their “How It Works,” “What We Treat,” and “Services” pages. Most providers will have an FAQ that can answer many of your specific questions about the provider itself. You can also look at user reviews on the app, websites like Trustpilot with third-party reviews, and past patient testimonies found on the provider’s website to determine what real people are saying about the service.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I see a doctor in person?
Online doctors are a great option for anyone who needs care for a non-emergency or minor medical condition or concern. If you are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, or you have a complicated condition, consider seeking care from an in-person doctor. Virtual doctor consultations are a safe and valid option for most patients and are oftentimes a more convenient option than in-person doctor visits.
What are the benefits of an online doctor?
There are many benefits to scheduling a consultation with an online doctor; they are fast, affordable, and painless to schedule. Especially after the outbreak and spread of COVID-19, an online doctor is a private and distanced way to get medical attention. There are many reasons you may not want to or be able to leave your home, and online doctors offer the benefit of immediate availability whenever your schedule allows. The best online doctors work in a patient-centered model, meaning that you will feel like you are the focus of their attention. They will give you kind and thoughtful medical care and make sure all of your questions are answered.
The Best Online Doctor Provider
You shouldn’t trust just any online doctor with your and your family’s health concerns. Finding the best online doctor may feel like an overwhelming task, but when you want to start your journey safely and securely, think about choosing Telegra MD as your online healthcare provider.
With the option for a subscription or pay-per-visit model, 24/7/365 service, and a network of board-certified, licensed, and experienced doctors, therapists, dermatologists, and pediatricians, Telegra MD is the best overall telehealth service provider. Telegra MD offers services and treatments for over 50 illnesses and medical concerns on a safe, private, and user-friendly platform, and there are doctors with immediate availability to treat your healthcare needs.
When you or your loved ones need high-quality healthcare quickly, Telegra MD is the most convenient and trustworthy provider. They utilize HIPAA-compliant video conferencing solutions so that you know your privacy and data are secure and stay private. And, as long as you do not need a controlled substance medication, the Telegra MD doctors can write you fast prescriptions to quickly treat your concerns. However, before scheduling an appointment, please check with your insurance provider to determine what your financial obligation for the consultation will be.
Skip the stress of emergency rooms or doctor’s office waiting rooms and connect with the best online doctor for you. You can register for an account by visiting Telegra MD.