1. How does your telemedicine service work?
Go to "make an appt" and click on "request appointment" to see what appointment slots are available. Choose a slot convenient for you, enter basic contact information and you're scheduled! No receptionists or phone trees.
You will receive a confirmation email with a link to create your patient portal account (required by privacy laws) and the standard paperwork required by law for you to electronically sign (eg. privacy notice, agreement to receive medical care, what to expect from our doctor-patient relationship) as well as a basic medical form. Once you return these, you're all set for this and future visits with me.
Five to 10 minutes before our appointment time, find a private quiet space with a strong WiFi signal, grab a set of headphones with a microphone if possible, log on to your patient portal on your computer or via the telehealth app for Simple Practice (iOS or Google Play) and we'll meet online. A standard appointment is 20 minutes. I cannot guarantee a longer slot due to other patients on my schedule.
After our appointment, you will receive a written summary of my recommendations via your patient portal as well as information about any medications, labs or imaging I have ordered. I will also ask you to schedule a follow up appointment, included in the fee of $50.
If you have questions after our visit, you may contact me via privacy -compliant messaging in the patient portal.
2. How does your service help me?
You got an antibiotic, you're not better, and now you have a rash. What should you do? Do you need to stop? Change antibiotics? You can contact me, I can see your rash, hear what's going on, and solve your medical problem without you having to travel to wait in a waiting room and pay for facility fees on top of the doctor's fee.
What if you are in the hospital and you want to ask your doctor about the medical plan? You ask your nurse to speak to the doctor who comes when they have a moment, usually unannounced, while your spouse is in the cafeteria. Now you have to explain to your spouse what your doctor said and remember the questions you had. What if you could call a doctor up who had the time to spend explaining to you and your family what your medical problems mean, what to expect, and coach you on what to ask your doctor when they come by for their morning rounds? This is you taking control of your health care by becoming a prepared and educated patient. I can help you with this. Real time.
3. What problems can you take care of using telemedicine?
A large part of my medical evaluation involves speaking and observing. If you have a medical problem that you do not think is an emergency, you can make an appointment to see me. If it's a problem that can't be safely or effectively taken care of via telemedicine, I will tell you and advise you on when and where you should be seen. Not all urgent cares are created the same. I can help you streamline your visits to make sure you show up at the right kind of medical facility and reduce the chances of having to visit multiple places to get the care you need.
4. Will my health insurance cover your services?
Health insurance companies currently do not cover telemedicine services in Massachusetts. The cost of your visit can be applied to your deductible.
5. How much does a visit cost?
Video meet and greet: $0
20 minute video consult and 1 follow up appointment*: $100
Each video consult beyond two appointments for the same problem*: $50
House calls: $200
House calls are available in Sudbury, Marlborough, Framingham, Wayland, Weston, Concord, Maynard and Hudson, MA. Travel to other towns is negotiable. Contact me for details.
* my fee does not include the costs of medications, lab testing or imaging
6. Your fee seems expensive.
Health care is expensive and sadly, more of the costs are being passed on to you, even with health insurance. Deductibles are high. Less is covered. Prices are NOT transparent. My last trip to an urgent care can cost my family $500 out of pocket ($200 out of pocket for the physician fee) WITH insurance. Plus, we had no idea of what the final cost was going to be until months later, after multiple bills for different items stopped arriving.
It's all about comparison shopping. With My Doctor Friend, you know what you will be charged ahead of time and this cost includes follow up calls to assure your medical problem is resolved. If you go back to urgent care or the ER for a second visit, you will be charged a second visit. I don't charge for that.
7. How quickly can I be seen?
One of the advantages of using my service is that if you make an appointment, you know you will see me 100% of the time. However, I still work in the ER, meaning I work odd and unpredictable hours. I make very effort to get back to you as soon as you request an appointment, but there may be delay if you catch me while I'm at work or sleeping after an overnight shift. Check my availability on the home page.
8. Why would I choose My Doctor Friend over a national telemedicine chain service, which may be cheaper and have quicker access?
Big box companies, like Costco, are great for some things, like discount toothpaste. But, health care is one of the most personal and individualized services you can request. National telemedicine chains work based on doctors from all over the country sitting at their computer, waiting to see who can click on your electronic request the fastest. You will get a different doctor each time and limited or no follow up. You will not know ahead of time what type of training or practice experience your doctor has. Some services do not provide access to a doctor because they employ nurse practitioners or physician assistants. If you want to know who you're going to see, you value seeing someone you can get to know, and value seeing a physician, My Doctor Friend is for you!
Check out my testimonials if you want to see what people who actually know me think of my professional skills.
9. Can I actually self-schedule online?
I want to make this as easy as possible for you.
You will need to enter credit card information in order to secure your spot. I have had too many no-shows, making it difficult for me to accommodate other patients. You need to CANCEL APPOINTMENTS AT LEAST 6 HOURS IN ADVANCE or you will be charge $50 for the missed appointment.
10. What devices can I use to see you via telemedicine?
You can use an iPhone, Android, iPad or computer. Make sure you have a good Wifi or other data signal and use headphones, if possible, for better audio quality. Try to find a private location with good lighting for the visit.