No, you’re not dreaming. You call the doctor’s number, record your chief complaint—what’s bothering you—and the doctor picks up the phone. No checking at the front desk first and then talking to a nurse.
Launched last October and operating in 18 states, RingADoc connects patients to fully licensed, board certified doctors immediately, at any time using the telephone: cost, $39.00 and no health insurance required. The physician “on (the) call” can provide information and referrals or prescribe treatment, all from a remote location.
Jordan Michaels, COO at the Beverly Hills, Calif.-based company, says “it saves patients time and money, allows doctors to reach more patients, and will also help the government address the growing concerns left behind by health care reform in a cost-effective manner.”
Doctors On “Call”
Benefits, Michaels says, include flexible health care, affordability, no hidden costs, instant consultations, availability, safety and privacy. Doctors can write prescriptions. “No lifestyle meds,” he says, “but short-term, low-supply medications, and subject to state regulations. Sign up in advance at no charge on the Internet or phone, then use us when you’re sick, even when you’re traveling.”
Given the impending shortage of primary care physicians, as well the impending influx of patients into the health care system, Michaels’ timing may be just right. Plus, phone technology rules here, for in fact, not everyone uses a computer.
No One’s Complaining
It’s said that 70% of all doctor visits are purely informational, with no actual treatment administered. Physically being at the doctor’s office may be unnecessary, translating to wasted time, say proponents of telephone consulting. Michaels says RingADoc is every bit as effective as office visits and is actually easier and more efficient than an “in-person” visit. Plus RingADoc may also keep unnecessary emergency room visits to a minimum. Doctors idle between patients can earn extra income, talking to 20 patients in the time they might see five.
RingADoc’s statistics looked like this earlier in the year:
68% of calls are beyond 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
28% of calls are on weekends—eight days of the 30-day month
75% of calls result in prescriptions
So next time you’re sick, who ya’ gonna’ call? No, this isn’t supposed to be a commercial for RingADoc, but truth is, with access remaining a challenge for many who need health care when they need it NOW, the company offers yet another option that makes good medical cents.