10 Questions to Ask a Telemedicine Provider
We get it — there are a lot of telemedicine solutions out there.
We built HealthTap with the mission of providing real-time access to quality, affordable healthcare for everyone.
But if you’re looking for the right solution for you, we also understand that you want to do your homework. And you should!
It can be a little confusing to know what questions to ask. So, we’ve put together this guide to help you evaluate what’s out there.
Here they are — 10 key questions for evaluating a telemedicine provider.
1. What days and hours are your doctors available?
Every HealthTap subscription comes with 24/7 access to live text or video chat appointments with our doctors. But not every telemedicine service offers this. Make sure you check — urgent medical needs seem to always pop up in the middle of the night.
2. What is the average wait time to see a doctor online?
We recently surveyed HR and Benefits leaders across the country and found that speed and long wait times were their biggest pain point with telemedicine. A full 41% of respondents said they wanted faster access and shorter wait times.
HealthTap customers wait for an average of 1 minute or less to see a doctor.
3. Can your doctors order lab tests?
And how do they conduct them? HealthTap, for example, partners with Quest Diagnostics
, the world’s leading provider of diagnostic testing. If your doctor determines a test is necessary, she’ll initiate it online, and you’ll be directed to visit a Quest Diagnostics location near you.
4. Can your doctors send prescriptions to any pharmacy, including mail-order pharmacies?
HealthTap doctors can send prescriptions to your preferred pharmacy. Pay attention to fine print when you’re comparing services, though, because not all telehealth platforms are like this.
5. Can your doctors send reminders for patients to follow their care plan or for follow-up care?
In a lot of cases, you are the ultimate determinant of whether your care will be successful or not. Which is why many care plans fail once people leave the doctor’s office — they forget to follow the plans their doctors lay out for them.
It’s important to us that you have a satisfying appointment with HealthTap. We also want to make sure that the ailment you called about was handled. That’s why we built a feature that allows HealthTap doctors to send reminders to you.
6. Do you help people decide if they need to see a doctor with self-help information and guidance tools?
We offer two main features outside of our telemedicine platform:
Doctor Q&A allows you to search millions of health questions that have been answered by real doctors — no more puzzling over search engine results. And if you can’t find an answer to your question, you can ask anonymously and get an answer within 24 hours.
Dr. AI is our artificial intelligence-powered symptom checker. Type in an ailment or question, and you’ll be guided through a series of easy-to-answer questions that will help determine what the cause of your symptoms might be.
If a consultation with a doctor is recommended, you can connect instantly and your doctor can see the results of your AI session — something that’s been shown to increase accuracy in diagnosis.
7. (For employers): How much do people actually use your app and how does that compare to other services?
If you’re a company that’s looking to offer telehealth as a feature of your healthcare plan for employees, you want to know that they’ll actually use it. People who have HealthTap use it 4.5X more than the leading telehealth providers.
8. (For employers): How much do you charge for your virtual healthcare services per employee?
Some telehealth providers quote pricing on a per worker, per month basis. Some do it per virtual doctor visit. Make sure you know so that when you compare services, you’re comparing apples to apples.
9. What is your interview process for hiring doctors, and what percentage of applicants do you accept?
HealthTap, for instance, only hires U.S.-based, board-certified doctors with a medical license in good standing. And we look for doctors who aren’t just qualified, but who are committed to being compassionate and approachable.
10. (For employers): How do you measure the time and money that your solutions save companies?
When we calculated return on investment for Flex, a Fortune 500 manufacturing and design leader, we used this equation:
Average cost of an in-person primary care doctor visit
+ Average cost of lost productivity from being out of the office
/ Total number of visits
In Flex’s case, they spent about $120 per worker and saved about $388 per worker for an average return on investment of $268.
Obviously, there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a telemedicine provider.
We want to make sure you get the one that’s right for you, and we’re committed to making that choice HealthTap.