HeyDoctor, Are You Kidding Me?

I got tipped off about this by one of the loyal readers of this blog. GoodRx, who I support in getting cheaper meds, just stabbed us doctors in the back. They are working with a company called HeyDoctor, who states they can get you a doctor in 5 minutes for things such as:

You can check out the company and the family doc (out of residency six years ago) who started it. Here is some more:

At HeyDoctor, our mission is to increase healthcare efficiency, affordability and accessibility. We’re reinventing how healthcare is accessed and provided with custom end-to-end solutions for patients and providers to connect online in real-time. Thousands of patients a month are using HeyDoctor’s mobile and web apps to get care from our expert doctors and medical team.

We’re reimagining how Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software should be built by taking inspiration from products we love like Slack, Intercom, and Asana and applying those learnings to healthcare. Using our technology doctors on our platform can treat patients over 10X faster than in brick and mortar offices or on video telemedicine, at high quality, and our patients love it. 

We currently treat over 15 common conditions including: 
– Acne Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention 
– High Cholesterol (Lipid) Testing and Treatment 
– Start or Refill Birth Control 
– Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Testing and Treatment

I really can’t see who the experts are who they are are treating these patients from the website. The fact that they use the phrase “expert doctors and medical team” means probably what you think it means. But is family medicine about treating patients “10x faster”? Sure, no one likes waiting rooms. I get that. In fact, the DPC world has that part licked too.

Listen, I love new ideas and entrepreneurship like the next person. This young doc was in the right place (San Fran) and had the right pitch to get some major investors. He will make a lot of money. GoodRx is aligned with them because they reap benefits on the back end. But is FRAGMENTATION of care the right way to treat patients? I really don’t think so. I still believe you need your own local doctor who you can communicate and see on a regular basis. I believe DPC beats this.

What do you think?

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  5 comments for “HeyDoctor, Are You Kidding Me?

  1. Natalie Newman, MD
    July 28, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    This is not medicine. This is a convenience store.

    Using words or phrases such as “innovative”, “the future of medicine”, etc. implies that it is a good thing. It isn’t. This concept is not new at all. It is a business model…using patients as commodities. And the public buys it. They do not understand that they add to the problem of seeking quick, fast solutions to what ails them. Physicians treat quick and fast…we also treat complex, difficult and time-consuming. We do both. It is tailored to the patient. This model requires no tailoring. It’s a one-size fits all model. The quality of health care has dropped into the toilet because of these “innovations”. This nonsense will lead patients right into the gutter. They have to decide how low they want to go. Because that price will be the highest. And there will be no value associated with it, I promise you.

  2. Jerry
    July 25, 2019 at 7:48 am

    I went to a recent meeting a at our hospital. The topic was “The Future of Primary Care”. There, administration told us how the number one component in patient care was convenience. I was rebuked when I mentioned that it used to be and still should be the quality of care that we give. When I had an episode of SVT a few years ago, I choose convenience over quality and almost died. Since then, I had back surgery (anterior fusion) and had it done at the Texas Back Institute, even though I live in Tennessee. It was not at all convenient, in fact it was quite inconvenient, but the day following surgery I was able to have dinner with friends and walked a mile to and from the restaurant while never taking anything stronger than Tylenol for pain. I have seen many patients take the convenient option and were still using wheelchairs one month later, and then being in pain management for the rest of their lives. For me, I will take quality over convenience any time.

  3. Bridget Reidy
    July 24, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    No doubt that’s what the healthy want, and those who think medical care is simple, an increasing number of the unhealthy. As long as they don’t promote it as equal to a real visit or some kind of solution for the entire health system’s problems, ie the problem of caring for the sick, then it’s no worse than urgent care. It will of course increase access for trivialities, so more money will be diverted to those, hopefully not at the cost of reducing necessary care. And will they report to the FP so as to limit the problem of lack of continuity?

  4. Thomas Winston, MD
    July 24, 2019 at 10:15 am

    I’m suspecting this will be a gold mine for future litigation

  5. Steve O'
    July 24, 2019 at 9:10 am

    It is impossible to stop the tide. America believes that everything is made better by constructing a Corporate-Retail market regulated by Government. Every “innovation” such as GoodRx is a half-bright re-invention of this sort of mistake by a cluster of medicals who think that they are Bright Innovators, and money shufflers who think that they are Wise Investors. (Hey Wise Investors – since the national banks don’t pay interest, and won’t even hold your money under the mattress without charging you a 0.1% storage fee (Japan) or 0.8% (Germany), a rickety investment yielding 1% makes your head turn.)

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