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Consumers are reaping the benefits of the boom in telehealth industries. Practicing medicine through technology is a new and beneficial niche in the healthcare market, letting people get medical advice, diagnoses, and prescription medication from the comfort of their own home. Amwell offers patients a solution to urgent healthcare needs by providing 24/7 access to physicians, therapists, and specialists. By using a phone or other electronic device, patients can discuss health problems and have prescriptions called in, all without leaving their home.
Amwell is one of the most prominent players in the telehealth industry, with hundreds of board-certified doctors, specialists, and therapists on staff. However, finding the best telehealth service for your needs involves more than reputation and size. To determine the best fit for you and your family’s health care, look closely at the pros and cons of each company, customer reviews, and service offerings.
“The doctor was great. The app was super easy to use. My medicine was sent right to my pharmacy and my doctor’s note was sent right to my smartphone!”
“The doctor was very thorough, took excellent notes, and was very prompt in joining the call!”
“A very easy conversation got me on to my ophthalmologist. It’s great to be able to reach someone at any time from the comfort of my home and I didn’t have to drive anywhere with an eye problem. Thank you.”
“I was able to see a doctor immediately, but the prescriptions that were prescribed by the doctor were never sent to my pharmacy, even after several messages were sent notifying the doctor of this.”
“It was a waste of a visit — I did not feel my need was adequately met. She rushed through the whole process. Will not be using services again.”
“I’ve had a fairly decent time with the doctors, but an awful time with billing. They’ve over charged me for months, even though my insurance was paying them the whole time and they only now are refunding me some of the money.”
As with any telehealth service, the benefits are many, such as flexible scheduling, out-of-state urgent care needs, and fulfilling social distancing requirements. Amwell doctors and specialists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and there is no extra charge for nights, weekends, or holidays. Appointments are not required for urgent care services, and Amwell’s telehealth doctors treat adults and children.
The company has a long list of offered services, including urgent care, pediatrics, and psychiatry. Additionally, the staff supports patients with health advice on nutrition and various women’s concerns, such as breastfeeding, pregnancy, and menopause. Therapy sessions are also available.
To begin using Amwell’s services, you need to enroll and create an online account. You can start the process via a computer or any mobile device, or you can phone in and set up your account through an Amwell representative.
During the account setup, you can add your insurance information, and Amwell will automatically check to see if you have coverage. You have to complete the payment process before being connected to a doctor, so plan for that. Once your account is activated, and you’ve agreed to the payment terms, you can look for available doctors, viewing their experience, and previous ratings.
The typical visit is said to take around 10 minutes, which seems relatively short, but Amwell does say you can ask for extra time, if necessary. Advanced preparation, such as listing symptoms, previous treatments, and current medications, can help ensure your visit goes smoothly.
The regulations for telehealth prescriptions vary by state, and many require a video visit rather than a phone-only call. Amwell’s doctors can’t prescribe controlled substances, although they can suggest them to your primary care doctor. Telehealth physicians may agree to refill prescriptions you are already taking. However, in most cases, it will be a one-time or bridge-the-gap situation, and you’ll need to follow up with your regular primary care doctor.
Forms, such as FMLA and WRKC disability documents, which need detailed in-person evaluations, are beyond the scope of Amwell’s staff. Still, you can electronically receive simple sick leave notes for work or school, and you can then print them off.
As with any telehealth service, Amwell is not a good choice for serious life-threatening conditions, broken bones, or severe bleeding. Additionally, the doctors don’t schedule or follow up with any needed lab work, although you can send a record of your visit to your primary care doctor for lab requests. Amwell’s website advertises help with managing chronic care issues, but you’ll need an initial diagnosis from a primary care doctor.
The Amwell Medical Group is physician-owned and operated and includes board-certified doctors. Amwell’s doctors are licensed by a single state or may have multistate licensing, so there is always someone available for your region. The company states that most of its approved doctors have, on average, 15 years of experience.
Amwell posts regular visits at $79 or your insurance co-pay, whichever is lower. The company’s website lists a number of their partner insurance companies, along with info regarding visit prices. Currently, specialists’ visits require full payment upfront. You can then send in your claim receipt to your insurance company to see if reimbursement is possible.
Psychiatric visits are listed at $269 for the first session and $99 for follow-ups. Therapy consults range between $99 and $110, depending on the therapist. The company doesn’t have a monthly membership plan.