Health care is extremely personal and requires more than a one-size-fits-all approach. When selecting a telehealth service, it’s important to compare several services and review the pros and cons of each one. Not every service will work for every patient, so taking the time to compare the options helps ensure the best outcome possible.
The best thing about MDLive is the convenience factor. Although patients can schedule appointments ahead of time, MDLive always has doctors on duty to see patients who need care right away.
Several types of specialized care are available through MDLive, including psychiatric assessment, talk therapy, and treatment for a wide range of dermatological skin disorders.
MDLive accepts Blue Cross, Humana, Cigna, and many other private insurance plans, making medical care more affordable.
Finally, MDLive makes it easy to sign up and access care. It’s free and takes just a few minutes to set up an account.
Depending on insurance coverage, an appointment for psychiatric assessment and treatment through MDLive may cost as much as $284.
MDLive doesn’t treat sexually transmitted infections, young children with ear pain, or men with urinary tract infections.
The service doesn’t offer automatic prescription refills. A patient who needs a refill must make another appointment with an MDLive provider.
Although it’s possible to receive general medical care within an hour, there may be a wait for dermatology or psychiatric care.
“I LOVE MDLive! It has changed my life.”
“I was very pleased with my MDLive appointment. The doctor called me promptly after I set up the appointment. I explained my issue to the doctor and she prescribed a medication that fixed my problem.”
“I had a great first experience with the doctor from MDLive. He was knowledgeable and seemed to truly care about my concerns. I will certainly use MDLive again should the need arise.”
“It wasn’t a bad process overall. But they knew ahead of time that they couldn’t treat me because of symptoms and my age. They chose to still see me and charge for something they couldn’t even treat.”
“I set up this appointment for the urgency aspect, and yet the medications took almost 3-4 days to even be called into the pharmacy.”
“First appointment was canceled by MDLive because the doctor wasn’t available anymore. The automated system said they’d call to reschedule, never happened.”
New users can sign up for MDLive by filling out an online registration form or downloading the MDLive free mobile app from the App Store or Google Play. The registration form asks for the patient’s name and basic contact information and only takes a minute or two to complete. Existing users can also add family members, such as spouses and children, to their accounts.
Users who are willing to wait for an appointment with a specific provider are given the opportunity to browse a directory of board-certified physicians. Each physician has a detailed profile, letting patients determine the best fit for their needs. Users who need to see a doctor right away have the option of waiting for the first available provider.
MDLive only offers appointments via its secure video messaging system. Users can access this system with any computer running Windows XP or better; Mac users must have OS X 10.6 or newer to video chat with an MDLive doctor. It’s also possible to attend an appointment on the go with the MDLive app, which is available for iPhones and Android devices.
During an MDLive appointment, the doctor asks questions about the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and family history of illnesses. If the patient has some type of skin condition, such as a rash, the doctor may also ask the patient to hold up the affected area for visual inspection. Based on the results of the assessment, the doctor may recommend over-the-counter medications or home treatments, such as ice, heat, rest, etc.
If prescription medication is necessary, MDLive can send the order to a local pharmacy to be filled. Federal regulations prevent MDLive physicians from prescribing controlled substances, but they can prescribe antibiotics, medications to treat high blood pressure, and other medications not listed under the Controlled Substances Act. Patients taking long-term medications need to make follow-up appointments for refills.
More than 60 million Americans have access to MDLive services through their private health insurance. MDLive accepts Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, and dozens of other plans. Patients with insurance may only have to pay a small co-pay for a telehealth appointment with one of the MDLive physicians.
MDLive has a rigorous hiring process for its network of doctors. All physicians must be board-certified in their specialties; for example, MDLive psychiatrists must be certified by the American Board of Psychiatry. The telehealth service also checks with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency to make sure each doctor has an unrestricted DEA license. All physicians must have at least four years of post-residency work experience before they qualify to work with MDLive, and therapists must have had their independent licenses for a minimum of four years.
It is completely free to join MDLive, and there are no monthly membership fees. Users simply pay a fee each time they video chat with an MDLive doctor or therapist. Charges vary according to the user’s insurance coverage and plan details. Some plans cover every visit with no co-pay or just a small co-pay required. Users without insurance coverage typically pay up to $82 for an appointment for a general medical issue, up to $75 for an appointment with a dermatologist, up to $108 for a therapy appointment, and up to $284 for an appointment with a psychiatrist.