For many of us, we find ourselves weighing our options when it comes to seeking out medical care. Besides men not usually wanting to go, the majority of families can't afford to receive proper care. Either their co-pays or deductibles are too high, or they don't have health insurance at all, and the overall cost of a doctor's visit would put a strain on their already limited income. But, with things like cancer and high blood pressure and even asthma, you really can't play with your health.
I know firsthand how crazy medical costs are. When I was diagnosed with cancer back in 2008, I had to receive 6 months of active treatment. Then, I spent another 6-8 months recovering from chemo and radiation treatment, while relying on a feeding tube for nutrition and needing a number of short-term hospital stays in the hospital as a result of infection or post cancer complications. Having lost my job a few months prior to being diagnosed and having bought our first home early in the year based on two salaries, all I could think about while undergoing treatment was how much this was going to cost us. While we had health insurance, many of the daily visits for treatments had co-pays tied to then, and necessary scans and tests were only partially covered. You would think that a hospital would hold off on billing you until you are done with treatment. Oh, no no no! A few weeks after starting treatment, the bills started to roll in. And, by the time 2008 came to an end, I was sitting on over $10,000 in medical bills. Not fun, when you are trying to stay positive and strong and beat stage 2 cancer, while feeling lousy.
As I write this post, I continue to deal with post cancer side effects, which also bring along with them necessary visits to see the oncologist. I also have to have scans each year. Due to the bills we are still paying, thankfully through a payment plan with the hospital, I have had to limit the number of scans and visits to the doctors, to help save us on new bills. While I know it is not good to do this, in today's day and age, you have to be cautious on how you spend your money, as you never know if your job will be there tomorrow. And, with children to take care of and a mortgage to pay on one salary, these steps are the way of life of many folks. But, this doesn't have to be the case anymore, thanks to a new app called Doctor On Demand. Have you heard of it? I hadn't until I was asked to review it, and then spent time trying it out, first by downloading the app to my phone and getting familiar with the layout, and then by talking to a US licensed and board certified doctor. I also learned that Dr. Phil is an advisor and his son, Jay McGraw is a co-founder of Doctor On Demand.
Instead of having to reach my deductible and worry about paying a $40 co-pay, but additional expenses based on what the doctors bill, with a call into Doctor On Demand, you only have to pay a flat fee of $40 per phone call. No hidden fees, or having to wait to see what your insurance covered and didn't.
At first I was skeptical about talking to a doctor over the phone through a video chat, but then after reading more about this new app and how all the doctors have years of experience, are highly educated, have gone through an extensive background check and are all US licensed and board certified, I couldn't wait to talk to a doctor, and see firsthand if this app and service would help save my family money when it comes to seeking medical advice, rather than making and waiting for an appointment, and then paying crazy co-pays and deductibles.
With two young children, I am always finding myself looking in medical books at home to try and diagnose rashes, bites and other symptoms they present. From head colds to stomach bugs, they always seem to be under the weather. I lost count last year on how many times we visited an urgent care/walk-in clinic on the weekend, or after hours center with them. Because we have young children and with my health background, we opted for the PPO plan at my husband's work, which carries a higher deductible, but then will cover many tests without the need of referrals (which became a big problem when I was receiving treatment for cancer). While our co-pay for a sick visit is $40, urgent care and ER visits cost us $100-$125. So, as you can see, countless visits to help make our girls feel better add up over time, leaving us more in debt over medical expenses than actual credit card charges for non-medical purchases. I loved the idea of only having to pay $40 a phone call and speaking with a doctor, and not a nurse practitioner or PA, which we usually see at walk in or urgent care centers.
While I wanted to try out the Doctor On Demand service, I didn't want to see my girls sick. But, leave it to a latex pool we bought the girls to cool down, and Bella breaks out in a bad eczema rash. It was unlike anything we had seen before, and left her feeling miserable, itchy and unable to sleep through the night. I felt like I was caring for a newborn again with the up all nights, trying to sooth and calm her down. On top of that, she didn't want to eat and was restless throughout the day, not walking to play with Savannah or go outdoors. So, I thought this was a perfect time to call and ask about this. While I had a hunch it was an eczema reaction, I wanted to play it safe and make sure she wasn't bit by something or having an allergic reaction that needed urgent attention.
Prior to speaking with a doctor, I entered in information regarding my call and even uploaded a few photos of the rashes and open sores on Bella's body. After a few minutes of the doctor reviewing what I sent him, he came on the line through a video chat. He introduced himself, greeted me and asked how I was doing, and then proceeded to ask additional questions. Bella was by my side, in case he wanted to see her up close or have me ask her questions on how she was feeling.
What stood out most while on this video call with a doctor through the Doctor On Demand app was how personable he was and how he was not trying to do a few things at once, or rushing through our visit to see more patients. I was his only patient and I had his undivided attention, which we expect as patients, but seem to not get when we visit the doctor's nowadays. In total, my call lasted about 10 minutes. And, while the physicians are "able to prescribe a wide range of drugs, which can be useful for infections, allergies, skin conditions, travel or sports injuries, they do not prescribe narcotics or pain medications, that have been designated as U.S. Controlled substances as a Schedule I, II, III or IV drug." I am not one to rely on prescription medications and prefer to try OTC medicines first. So, I was happy to hear the doctor one the line offer up suggestions on over the counter ointments and creams that could help bring relief, as well as to give her Benedryl for the hives and allergic reaction she was having.
I think the doctor on the line could tell that I have been sleep deprived and stressed over Bella not feeling well and not being able to provide her with relief. Based upon what I was sharing regarding at-home treatment including oatmeal baths, creams, etc., he said I was doing everything right. That made me feel a little better. And, just knowing it was a bad eczema breakout caused by an allergic reaction, my nerves were calmed enough, so that I could send my husband to the pharmacy to pick up OTC medicine the doctor suggested.
I couldn't help but think about the Doctor On Demand call and compare it to recent visits I have had with my daughters' pediatricians. It seems every time they show up with ear wax or a stuffy nose (usually from allergies), our wellness visit becomes a sick visit and costs us more in the long run. And, all I usually get from the doctor is that there are no prescribed medicines to treat their illness, and to either let it runs its course or pick up a couple OTC medicines. Thankfully now, I know about the Doctor On Demand service and will be utilizing this service when the girls are under the weather and it doesn't look severe that immediate medical attention is necessary. Like I said, the doctors you speak with through the Doctor On Demand, although they are US licensed and board certified, cannot prescribe narcotics or pain medications, that have been designated as U.S. Controlled substances as a Schedule I, II, III or IV drug, they can still offer up great OTC options and other general prescriptions, in addition to referrals to see specialists if they feel your condition needs further attention outside a basic doctor's office visit.
When it comes to picking up your phone to initiate a Doctor On Demand call, you will want to make sure it is for any of the following reasons...
- Use Doctor On Demand for --
- cold, cough, flu, allergies
- Rash, Pink eye, hay fever
- Asthma, bladder infections
- pediatric questions
- most cases that are not life threatening
- prescriptions refills
- referral to a specialist
- Do not use Doctor On Demand for any medical problem that is life-threatening --
- chest pain/pressure
- serious head, neck or back injury
- broken bone
A fifteen minute consult will cost you $40 per call (if you go over 15 minutes, you are billed an additional $40 for each additional 15-minute increment), and you will get a doctor's undivided attention. I love not having to wait days or weeks to be seen by a doctor, or having to go to the ER after hours for non-life-threatening concerns, just to help ease my girls' symptoms. I can see this app coming in handy, and will not hesitate to use it to talk about pediatric questions I may have, to rule out bites and rashes and the course of treatment to use, etc.
To learn more about Doctor On Demand and times to use this service, you can visit: http://www.doctorondemand.com/how-to-use-it/use-cases.
Want to give Doctor On Demand a try with either an audio or video chat, or have it ready when you find yourself needing medical advice for yourself or a family member?
First, start by downloading the app through either iTunes or Google Play and setting up an account. And, just for Inspired by Savannah readers, make sure you use my special referral code "IBS14." This code will save you $10 off a Doctor On Demand Call! And, the best part of it all, the app is FREE and you don't have to provide credit card info when registering. You will only be asked for this information when you make a call. I personally love this, as I hate companies that require your credit and billing info. up front, just to register for their services.
So, don't chance not getting the necessary medical treatments and diagnosis that you and your family deserve, in hopes to save money. Instead, make sure you have the Doctor On Demand app downloaded and ready to use, when a non-life-threatening medical issue arises, and you need advice, but don't want to pay high co-pays and deductibles. Just knowing that I will be saving $$$, makes me love this app even more. Who knew that your could save your hard earned money and keep it in your pocket, just by using an on-call doctor service like Doctor On Demand? I am so glad I had the opportunity to learn more about this app and try out it out firsthand. :-)
Once you give Doctor On Demand a try, I know you will love it too, and brag about it to family and friends.
Don't forget to follow Doctor On Demand on their social media pages to stay up-to-date on new app features, special offers and more...
- Doctor On Demand on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/doctorondemand
- Doctor On Demand on Twitter: https://twitter.com/drondemand
--Win 1 of 10 FREE Doctor On Demand Phone Call Codes --
Thanks to the kind folks at Doctor On Demand, they are giving me the opportunity to reward 10 lucky readers with a FREE phone call (valued at $40), to try out the service firsthand. To enter, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!
-- Enter to Win a $200 Target Gift Card --
We would like to celebrate the fact that you can now talk to a board certified doctor (on demand!) from the comfort of your own home, thanks to the Doctor On Demand app.... with a great giveaway.
The $200 Target Gift Card Giveaway will end on July 22nd. It is open to US residents, 18+ only. Please use the Giveaway Tools Form below to enter! Good Luck!
Disclosures: The participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Giveaway is open to US residents, age 18+ only. The giveaway will close at 11:59PM EST on 7/22/14. One winner will be selected randomly from all eligible entries. If you have any questions about this giveaway or would like to inquire about group events like this, please contact the Blogging Mamas Network at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation on behalf of Doctor On Demand. All opinions shared are mine and mine alone.