Phone-A-Physician, Talk Your Way Into A Prescription

from the who-are-these-doctors? dept

For pretty obvious reasons, some people are a bit concerned about a new service that will let anyone call a doctor at any time, day or night. You call in, and a doctor will call you back within 3-hours, listen to your problems, and potentially write a prescription. Various doctors’ groups and “medical ethics experts” are worried about people getting prescriptions without first being seen in person. What’s not clear from the article is what types of problems and what types of prescriptions are being discussed — as that could obviously make a difference. Also, the fees are fairly expensive ($4.25/month plus $35/call) for anyone who already has medical insurance and a decent copay. Still, the other item that’s not explained is who are the doctors who are participating in this? They clearly feel qualified to diagnose someone over the phone — so what do they have to say about the program?

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Comments on “Phone-A-Physician, Talk Your Way Into A Prescription”

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dorpus says:

Organ Transplant Hoax

Along these lines, I was at a department party tonight, where I met the database architect of the national kidney donor registry, and I asked him about the urban legend of illegal organ transplants. There have been no known cases of illegal transplants. The coordination required for a successful transplant are extraordinarily complex, there is a high chance of rejection, and patients are required to take anti-rejection drugs for years after the transplant. The anti-rejection drugs are hard to get, and if illegal transplants were happening, failed transplant patients should have showed up at hospitals by now. No such cases have been recorded.

If you’ve ever registered for the bone marrow registry, then you have some idea of how exact the matches have to be — even family members may not succeed.

Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

It won't work

The company I used to work for tried creating a spin-off company that did this very thing.

They did a limited launch in a couple of states only and within 90 days they had received letters from the Attorney General in each state notifying them that the doctors they had on staff were licensed to practice medicine in those states and they had to stop. Of course by then they had already sold this as a subscription service and as part of the insurance for a few companies, which made it difficult and expensive to pull the plug.

Luckily I think they only lost the $8.5 million investment and not any more…

I told them up front it wasn’t going to work – they started about 3 months after Dr. Koop’s website had already shut down. I told them they should cut me a check for $4 million and keep the rest, thus reducing their total losses by half… but noone would believe me… Oh well, I guess this way they get a bigger tax write off…

Andrew Strasser (user link) says:

Stastically speaking...

With only 40% of Doctor’s in the U.S. today being able to effectivly use computers I think this could be a great advancement. First off I spent 6 hours just the other day driving to my neurologist to get to spend 10 minutes at most speaking to her. I call in my prescriptions because there is a 3 month wait(6 this last time as she was ill).

Why waste my time going in to the Doctor and wasting their time every time I get a sniffle. They are making plenty off of Insurance. It’s so bad most take an extra day off of work each week and there is a huge demand for them. Sometimes you can’t wait to get through the red tape of getting healed and you shouldn’t be expected for any reason what-so-ever to not heal yourself if the ability is there.

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