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The Real Cost of Going to the Doctor


When you visit the doctor these days, finances are unfortunately part of the picture. As deductibles increase and “cost-sharing” plans become more commonplace, patients are becoming more aware of the fees associated with a doctor’s visit. The first cost patients consider is the up-front “co-pay.” But this fee, on average $30 nationally for a standard in-office visit with your doctor, is only the first in several charges. In the past, most of the charges associated with a doctor visit were covered by insurance, which averages about $153 for a standard clinic visit. With recent high deductible, “cost-sharing” plans becoming popular, more and more patients are finding these expenses coming directly out-of-pocket.

Unfortunately, there are also indirect expenses in going to your doctor’s office.  According to a Harvard Medical School study, over half of the cost of a doctor visit has nothing to do with the medical care. Instead, they found higher expenses due to travel and loss of productivity at work.  Add to this the two hour average time commitment and it is no wonder that patients are looking for quicker access and avenues to bypass the waiting room.

Enter online medicine. This method of providing care to patients has exploded in popularity over the last five years. Online video interviews with doctors or “virtual visits” are becoming commonplace across the country. Instead of waiting in the doctor’s office, now there are “virtual” waiting rooms you can click into at any time. The idea is simple: bring the doctor to the patient. The goal is to increase access for patients who may not have the time, money, or transportation to get to the doctor’s office. As the financial burden is being shifted to patients who have less free time, the value of care becomes important.

SmartDocMD is a telemedicine platform that has taken value and convenience to another level. What if there was no waiting room, virtual or otherwise? What if doctors were waiting for you? The SmartDocMD proprietary online health care platform combines Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) with access to board-certified physicians who work “on-demand” to address your health problems.  The process is simple: answer an online patient interview at a time of your choosing. Once you are done with the interview the SmartDocMD A.I. system will help determine if you need one of our doctors. If you do, your online patient interview is evaluated by our docs who then send you a diagnosis and treatment plan, including prescriptions sent electronically to your pharmacy, along with prevention tips, follow up plans, and more. Average response time is typically 30 minutes or less.  This is health care on your terms. So, skip the waiting room and start your care now.

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