MIAMI (CBSMiami) – We’re still in the midst of flu season and when you feel miserable, getting out of bed to go to the doctor is the last thing you really want to do. But, you no longer really have to leave the house.
It’s what one doctor calls the wave of the future.
When Dr. David Mishkin’s busy 12-hour shift ends at Baptist Hospital’s Emergency Department it’s not necessarily the end of his workday. Dr. Mikshin continues to help people from his own home.
It’s called “Care on Demand.” You access doctors by downloading an app to your phone, tablet, even your PC. As long as you have a camera, you’re all set.
Now you just dial in and within minutes an on-call doctor, like Dr. Mishkin, answers.
He appears in the lower right corner of his computer screen as he talks to patient Jackie Suarez.
“I saw that we saw you for flu-like symptoms here last week,” Dr. Mishkin. “Yes, yes, that’s correct,” Suarez responds. “And your physician at that time prescribed you some Tamiflu?”
“Correct. So I got the Tamiflu as well as the Zofran for nausea. And I’m feeling much better,” Suarez tells the doctor.
“I absolutely love using this program,” explains Suarez. “So, I used it about two years ago for my daughter when she had pink eye. It was actually very successful. I mean we got the prescription we needed right away, over the phone.”
The flu, eye infections, ear infections, and sinus infections are perfect examples of illnesses treatable from afar. You no longer have to wait at an urgent care while you’re feeling miserable.
“To sit and wait for god knows how long, it is not fun. So, I love the convenience of doing this from my house, from my bed,” says Suarez.
Since “Care on Demand” started in 2016 the number of people who use it has more than tripled to 20,000 now and provides urgent care to all 50 states.
Initially started as just an urgent care platform, it has since added other services and doctors, like psychiatrists and oncologists. And next month the platform will add nutrition consults and breastfeeding support.
But how is the doctor able to diagnose you if you’re not right there in person? Dr. Mishkin says it starts with asking the right questions.
“When you come in to see a physician for an acute medical problem, they are going to ask you basically a history of your present illness and that is going to give them a pretty good indicator of what you have,” Dr. Mishkin explains. He says the physical exam is a modified version.
“Seeing their appearance, how their disposition is, how they are breathing, and then, in addition, there is a lot of things we can see from visually,” says Dr. Mishkin. “Like skin rashes, we can look in their eyes really well and see if they potentially have an eye infection. We do not take insurance. It is really, for the most part, these types of programs in our country do not take insurance. But the cost of the service is cheaper than a copay and it is a one time fee only. There is no hidden fees, no hidden billing, and it is pretty much, can be paid up front by the patient and it is very consumer driven in that regard.”
Dr. Mishkin says he realized early-on telehealth is the wave of the future, leading him to spearhead the program at Baptist.
“I’m really glad you’re feeling better,” he tells Ms. Suarez. “We’re always available if you find anyone else in the house starts to get those symptoms. Other than that you’re cleared to go back to work.”
Now, while no insurance is accepted, the doctor says the one-time fee is less than a copay.
— By Donna Rapado