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Lengthy hospital stays are often infamously derided for their seemingly exorbitant price tags, unsavory-yet-overpriced food, and general patient dissatisfaction with their perceived level of quality of care.  In all honesty, these sentiments --while potentially valid-- are also often somewhat unfair, and worsened by a lack of transparency and understanding of the basic economics that go into maintaining a viable hospital system operational, particularly within our current medico-legal environment.  All that notwithstanding, there are very legitimate reasons for someone to search for alternative solutions to long-term care that are better suited to both the patient and their family’s lives.  One of these potential alternatives is “hospitalization” at home.

Many hospitals and emergency departments (EDs) across the country are facing serious shortages of available hospital beds for inpatient care.  As a result, many ED’s are stuck “boarding” patients in hallways for days or even weeks while they await a hospital bed to open up.  Obviously, this is less than ideal for myriad reasons:  it is uncomfortable and unpleasant for the patient;  it increases potential exposure to pathogens and the development of new hospital-acquired infections;  it increases wait times in EDs;  and so forth.

Fortunately, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) actually have expanded their Hospitals Without Walls initiative by creating the Acute Hospital Care at Home (AHCAH) program, which financially covers “hospitalization” at home.  This program allows patients to remain in their homes with daily follow-up by healthcare providers, as the situation warrants.  This daily follow-up can range from in-person nurse or physician visits (to administer medications, maintain intravenous (IV) lines, perform examinations, etc,), all the way to even virtual check-ins by a clinician to make sure everything is going well.

As one would assume, there are limitations to this program.  The patient must be sufficiently ill to have otherwise warranted normal hospitalization.  However, their condition must also be sufficiently low in severity and stable that they do not require immediate access to the lifesaving resources found in a physical hospital. The patient must be able to perform the basic activities of daily living, or at least have reasonable assistance available for certain limitations. Furthermore, admittance to the program requires an in-person evaluation from a physician.  This can be performed in an ED or community clinic, where the physician determines the individual warrants hospitalization, but is safe to be admitted to the home hospitalization program.  Alternatively, if the patient is already admitted to the hospital, their hospital physician may determine that they are stable enough to continue their “hospitalization” at home.  The home must also be assessed to ensure it is a safe environment and meets basic criteria such as running water, indoor plumbing, heating and/or air conditioning, etc.  A member of the clinical team must also meet with the patient at their home to go over the entire treatment plan and assess what additional steps might need to be taken (such as providing meals, for example).

Ideally, this program should offer greater convenience and comfort to suitable patients, while also reducing the inpatient costs and overcrowding burdens on the healthcare system.  There are currently 53 health systems with 116 hospitals located across 29 states that have been approved for this program.  To see if a hospital near you is participating in the program, you can check the following list published by CMS.

Theoretically, home hospitalization programs could help alleviate hospital crowding and extended ED “boarding” stays, in addition to possible savings on healthcare expenses.  A study from Johns Hopkins found that home hospitalization cost roughly 32% less than traditional hospital care (an average difference of $5,081 vs. $7,480 for applicable hospitalizations).  However, other studies have failed to show any significant difference in the average costs of home hospitalization vs. inpatient care.  One might also worry about many possible unintended  and unwanted consequences of a program such as this.  For example, if it becomes easier for busy ED physicians to simply clear out patients by sending them back home under this program, you might find that the home hospitalization program becomes inappropriately overused, ultimately driving CMS costs up instead of down.  The program might also be abused from the consumer side, where individuals seek out the comfort and/or benefits of this service inappropriately.  Again, driving total costs up instead of down.  However, for the time being, it is a potentially promising program that will undoubtedly need further tweaking as it matures.

If you or a loved one is facing a possible hospitalization --or are/is currently hospitalized-- consider asking your physician if their hospital is participating in a home hospitalization program and whether that is a suitable option for your treatment.

 

Sources:

From a purely brass-tacks scientific perspective, syphilis is just the name given to a three-stage disease caused by the bacteria Treponema pallidum. It is essentially transmitted through mucous membranes or broken skin, which is why the overwhelming method of transmission is unprotected sexual contact and the risk goes up rapidly in proportion to riskier sexual practices and increased number of sexual partners. It is also worth noting that the sexual partners of people with a high number of sexual partners are also more likely to have an increased number of sexual partners themselves, thus compounding the increased risk of exposure to syphilis.

Syphilis can also be transmitted directly from an infected mother to her unborn child. The untreated disease usually progresses through three distinct stages, punctuated by periods of spontaneous remission (often mistaken for an actual resolution of the disease) in between. The first stage is usually a single, painless, firm lesion on the skin called a chancre (most commonly on the genitals or anus, but it can occur elsewhere). The second stage is usually a more disseminated rash across the skin, notable for its presence on the palms and soles of the feet. The third and final stage is usually characterized by diffuse systemic involvement, but most notably including severe damage to the central nervous system and cardiovascular system. This third and final stage may occur decades after the initial infection, and often results in the death of the individual.

The exact geographic origin of syphilis is still a widely debated subject. Some theories posit that it originated in the Americas and was brought back to Europe by Christopher Columbus’ crew. Others posit that it originated in Africa or the Old World. And others suggest that it was endemic globally. There is good evidence of treponemal disease (syphilis) in Native Americans prior to 1492, thus making the American origin plausible. However, there is also some evidence of treponemal disease in Europe prior to 1493 (when Columbus’ crew returned), although this evidence is not as strong and is disputed by many. There is also evidence that syphilis originated in either cattle or sheep and made a zoonotic transmission to humans. This, of course, raises the possibility of --to put it delicately-- let’s just say a rather unorthodox approach to “animal husbandry”. Although it is also plausible that the jump to humans could have happened through less disturbing means, such as butchering the carcasses of infected animals with broken skin.

Over the centuries, what we now call “syphilis” has gone by many names and has often been conflated and confused with other sexually transmitted diseases -- and even diseases such as leprosy and leishmaniasis. Our current name “syphilis” actually originated from a set of fictional novels written in 1530 by the Italian poet Girolamo Fracastoro called, “Syphilis sive Morbus Gallicus”. In these books, Fracastoro ascribes the origin of the disease to a curse placed on the people of ancient Greece because a shepherd named Syphilis refused to worship the god Apollo. As one might expect, there is rampant speculation about many prominent historical figures who are believed to have had syphilis, ranging from Leo Tolstoy and Friedrich Nietzsche, to Al Capone and Adolf Hitler.

The actual bacterium responsible for syphilis (Treponema pallidum) was not identified until 1905 by Fritz Schaudinn and Erich Hoffmann in Germany, and the first (moderately) effective treatment for syphilis did not come until 1910. It was an arsenic-based drug called arsphenamine and, while it was effective in the treatment of syphilis, it carried considerable downsides and adverse side effects -- as one would expect from a drug derived from arsenic! The real game changer for the successful treatment of syphilis came with the discovery of penicillin. Even though penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928, it was not mass produced and introduced to the American market until 1943.

While syphilis is a potentially fatal disease, the good news is that it can now be easily tested for and successfully treated with a single injection of long-acting penicillin. Recognizing the disease early is important and we will cover that in the next blog post.

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Understanding Sinusitis: Can It Lead to Facial Numbness?

When we think of sinusitis, common symptoms like nasal congestion, headaches, and facial pain come to mind. However, there's an uncommon symptom that often goes unnoticed - facial numbness. My Virtual Physician recognizes the importance of understanding this lesser-known connection and provides expert guidance on managing sinusitis effectively.

The Hidden Link: Sinusitis and Facial Numbness

Sinusitis, an inflammation of the sinuses, typically brings discomfort around the nasal area. But can it cause numbness in the face? Indeed, in some cases, the inflammation and swelling can put pressure on facial nerves, leading to a sensation of numbness or tingling. This phenomenon is not widely known, and many may not immediately associate it with sinusitis. Understanding this link is crucial, as facial numbness can be alarming. It's a sign that sinusitis might be more severe or complicated than usual. My Virtual Physician emphasizes the importance of not dismissing such symptoms and seeking professional advice for a proper diagnosis.

Why Professional Diagnosis Matters

Self-diagnosis can be risky, especially with symptoms like facial numbness. It's essential to consult healthcare professionals like those at My Virtual Physician. They can determine whether the numbness is indeed related to sinusitis or if it's a sign of another underlying condition. Sinusitis, especially when severe, can lead to complications if not treated appropriately. A professional diagnosis ensures that you receive the right treatment, preventing the condition from worsening or leading to further health issues.

The Convenience and Expertise of My Virtual Physician

In today's digital age, accessing healthcare has become more convenient through telemedicine services like My Virtual Physician. Consulting online for symptoms like facial numbness due to sinusitis not only saves time but also provides access to specialized care right from your home. My Virtual Physician offers comprehensive care for sinusitis, including understanding and managing unusual symptoms like facial numbness. Their expertise in telemedicine ensures that patients receive prompt and accurate diagnoses, followed by effective treatment plans.

When to Seek Medical Advice: Sinusitis with Unusual Symptoms

If you're experiencing facial numbness along with other sinusitis symptoms, it's time to consult a physician. My Virtual Physician advises not to wait until symptoms become unbearable. Early consultation can lead to a quicker diagnosis and treatment, preventing the progression of the condition. Sinusitis with symptoms like facial numbness might require more than just over-the-counter medication. It's a sign that your body is reacting more intensely to the inflammation, and professional medical advice is crucial in such cases. Understanding Sinusitis in the Digital Age The rise of telemedicine has made managing health conditions like sinusitis more accessible. My Virtual Physician stands at the forefront, providing expert medical consultations online. For anyone experiencing sinusitis symptoms, especially something as unusual as facial numbness, My Virtual Physician offers a convenient and reliable solution. Remember, understanding your symptoms is the first step toward effective treatment. Don’t hesitate to reach out to My Virtual Physician for personalized advice and comprehensive care for your sinusitis concerns.

Booking Your Virtual Consultation

If you're experiencing symptoms of sinusitis, particularly facial numbness, consider booking an appointment with My Virtual Physician. Their team of experienced healthcare professionals is ready to provide you with personalized advice and comprehensive treatment options, all from the comfort of your home.

Take Action

Sinusitis is more than just congestion and headaches. When it presents with a symptom like facial numbness, it's a sign to take action. My Virtual Physician is here to help you understand these symptoms and provide the care you need through convenient telemedicine services. Don't let sinusitis and its unusual symptoms go unchecked. Reach out to My Virtual Physician for expert care tailored to your needs.

Caya Diaphragm: A Path to Comfortable and Reliable Contraception

In an era where women's health and comfort are prioritized, the Caya Diaphragm emerges as a significant advancement in contraceptive choices. It's not just about preventing pregnancy; it's about embracing a method that aligns with your lifestyle and well-being. My Virtual Physician recognizes this need and stands ready to guide you through understanding how the Caya Diaphragm can be a game-changer in your sexual health journey.

The Comfort of Caya

The design of the Caya Diaphragm is a testament to modern medical ingenuity. Its contoured, silicone-based structure is tailored to fit the female anatomy comfortably. This means no rigid edges or uncomfortable fits – just a natural, almost unnoticeable presence during use. For women who have experienced discomfort with other contraceptive methods, the Caya Diaphragm offers a breath of fresh air. Its material is hypoallergenic, making it suitable for women with sensitivities or allergies to latex.

Moreover, the comfort it provides goes beyond the physical aspect. There’s a mental ease that comes from using a product that’s designed with your body in mind. This can significantly impact your sexual health positively, making intimate moments more enjoyable without the worry of discomfort.

Reliability You Can Trust

When it comes to contraception, effectiveness is a non-negotiable. The Caya Diaphragm, backed by clinical research, offers impressive reliability. Its design is such that, when used correctly and with spermicide, it forms a physical barrier that prevents sperm from reaching the uterus. This method’s success rate is encouraging, giving women confidence in their contraceptive choice.

It's important to note that the effectiveness of any contraceptive method, including the Caya Diaphragm, depends on proper use. This is where My Virtual Physician comes into play. Our team is dedicated to educating you on the correct usage, ensuring that you get the most out of your Caya Diaphragm.

Positive Impact on Sexual Well-being

Choosing a contraceptive method that you're comfortable with can have a profound effect on your sexual well- being and relationship satisfaction. A method that is both comfortable and reliable like the Caya Diaphragm can reduce anxiety around intercourse, leading to a more fulfilling sexual experience. This peace of mind is invaluable, allowing you to focus on the intimacy and connection with your partner.

Furthermore, the Caya Diaphragm does not interfere with the body’s natural hormonal balance. This is a crucial factor for many women who prefer or need to avoid hormonal contraception for various health reasons.

Empowering Women with Choices

My Virtual Physician’s commitment to empowering women with choices is evident in our support for the Caya Diaphragm. We understand that each woman’s needs are unique, and our approach is to provide personalized consultations. Through telemedicine, access to this modern contraceptive method is simplified, making it a viable option for women everywhere.

Our platform provides not just access but also comprehensive education about the Caya Diaphragm. We believe in informed choices, and our team ensures that you have all the information you need to make the best decision for your health and lifestyle.

The Value

The Caya Diaphragm represents more than just a contraceptive method; it's a statement of comfort, reliability, and empowerment. My Virtual Physician is here to help you explore this option, ensuring that your journey in sexual health is supported, informed, and aligned with your personal values. We invite you to schedule an appointment with us for a personalized consultation on using the Caya Diaphragm and to address any sexual health concerns you may have. Remember, your comfort and health are paramount, and with the Caya Diaphragm, you’re choosing a path that respects both.

Understanding the Equivalence: Are Generic Medications as Effective as Brand Names?

When it comes to choosing medications, one of the most common dilemmas people face is deciding between generic and brand-name drugs. At My Virtual Physician, we understand the importance of making informed health decisions. That's why we're delving into this topic to clear up misconceptions and provide you with the knowledge you need.

The Truth About Generic Medications

One might wonder, "Are generic medications the same as brand names in terms of quality and effectiveness?" The answer is a resounding yes. Generic drugs are equivalent to their brand-name counterparts in the most crucial aspects - safety, efficacy, and therapeutic value.

The Science and Standards Behind Generics

Generic medications undergo rigorous testing and approval processes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that generics demonstrate bioequivalence to brand-name drugs. This means they must have the same active ingredient, strength, dosage form, and route of administration. The manufacturing facilities and processes also meet the same high standards as those of brand-name drugs.

Equally Effective, More Accessible

The primary difference between generic and brand-name drugs lies not in their quality but in their accessibility. Generics offer significant economic benefits. They are typically far more affordable than their branded counterparts, making essential medications accessible to a broader range of people. This cost-effectiveness can be a game-changer, especially for individuals managing chronic conditions on a budget.

Busting the Myths Around Generics

Despite their proven efficacy, some myths persist around generic medications. A common misconception is that cheaper means lower quality. However, the lower price of generics is due to the absence of the initial research, development, and marketing costs that brand names incur. The quality, safety, and effectiveness remain on par with branded drugs.

Personalized Healthcare Choices

At My Virtual Physician, we emphasize personalized healthcare. Understanding your medication options, including the viable choice of generics, is a crucial part of this. We encourage patients to discuss their medication options with our healthcare providers, ensuring they make choices that best suit their health needs and financial circumstances.

Making Informed Decisions

In the end, generic medications are not just a cost-effective alternative; they are a safe, effective, and essential part of modern healthcare. By choosing generics, patients can access the treatments they need without compromising on quality.

We encourage our readers to continue exploring these topics. If you're considering switching to generic medications or have any questions about your medication choices, we invite you to schedule a consultation with My Virtual Physician. Our experts are here to provide personalized advice and support your journey towards informed health decisions.

Remember, your health is your most valuable asset. Making educated choices about your medications is a critical step in managing it wisely. At My Virtual Physician, we're committed to guiding you through these choices, ensuring you receive the best possible care tailored to your unique needs.

Building Trust and Care with Your Online Primary Doctor

In the world of healthcare, trust and care form the cornerstone of a strong patient-doctor relationship. With the advent of telemedicine, this dynamic is evolving. My Virtual Physician, a leading online primary care provider, is at the forefront of this evolution, demonstrating how trust and care can flourish even in the digital healthcare landscape. This article explores the importance of these elements in an online setting and how My Virtual Physician is setting a new standard for patient care.

The Essence of Trust in Online Healthcare

In traditional healthcare settings, trust is built over time through face-to-face interactions. However, in the digital world, building trust with an online primary doctor requires a different approach. My Virtual Physician understands this and has crafted a platform that fosters trust from the first interaction. The use of secure, user-friendly technology for consultations ensures that patients feel safe sharing their health concerns. Moreover, the consistent quality of care and attention to detail in follow-ups reinforces this trust, proving that distance is no barrier to a reliable healthcare relationship.

My Virtual Physician’s commitment to confidentiality and adherence to medical ethics further enhances this trust. Understanding that patients might have concerns about data security and privacy, the platform uses state-of-the- art security measures. This commitment ensures that the sanctity of the patient-doctor relationship is maintained, just as it would be in a traditional setting.

Building Enduring Relationships Remotely

The key to a strong patient-doctor relationship lies in understanding and empathy. My Virtual Physician’s team of dedicated doctors takes the time to understand each patient's unique health journey. Through regular virtual check-ins and personalized health plans, patients receive care that is tailored to their individual needs. This personalized approach not only addresses the immediate health concerns but also fosters a sense of belonging and care, vital for long-term health management.

Telemedicine’s flexibility allows for more frequent and convenient communication between patients and doctors. This regular interaction builds a deeper understanding and a stronger bond, akin to what one would expect from a traditional family doctor. My Virtual Physician leverages this advantage, ensuring that patients always have access to their doctors, whether for acute conditions, chronic disease management, or preventive care.

The Benefits of a Reliable Online Primary Doctor

Access to a reliable online primary doctor means healthcare on your terms – flexible, accessible, and tailored to your lifestyle. For busy professionals, parents juggling family responsibilities, or individuals in remote areas, My Virtual Physician provides a level of accessibility that traditional healthcare often cannot match. This ease of access ensures that health concerns are addressed promptly, leading to better health outcomes.

Moreover, the continuity of care provided by online primary doctors is invaluable, especially for managing chronic conditions. Patients have the assurance of consistent care from a doctor who understands their medical history in- depth, an aspect often missing in fragmented traditional care models.

Real Stories, Real Connections

Patient testimonials and case studies are a testament to the successful relationships built through My Virtual Physician. From managing chronic illnesses to providing acute care and preventive advice, these stories reflect the positive impact of having a trustworthy online primary doctor. These real-life examples highlight how an empathetic, patient-centric approach, combined with the convenience of online consultations, can lead to meaningful and long-lasting healthcare relationships.

Take the Next Step

My Virtual Physician is more than just a platform for healthcare; it’s a community where trust, care, and professional medical advice converge to provide a holistic online healthcare experience. For those new to telemedicine or seeking a more connected healthcare journey, My Virtual Physician offers an opportunity to experience healthcare reimagined.

Ready to experience a new level of healthcare? Visit myvirtualphysician.com to learn more about our services and book your initial consultation. Discover the difference of a patient-doctor relationship that’s rooted in trust and care, all from the comfort of your home.

Dr. David Howard of My Virtual Physician was honored to be part of Crosspoint's 16th Annual Community Resource Fair in Santo Antonio, Texas, an event dedicated to building
safer and stronger communities by empowering individuals in their transition from incarceration or addiction.

Crosspoint: A Beacon of Empowerment

Crosspoint, a longstanding pillar of hope in the Santo Antonio community, has been tirelessly working to empower individuals as they transition from incarceration or addiction. Their mission is clear: to be a model of personal and community restoration. The Community Resource Fair, now in its 16th year, is a shining testament to their unwavering dedication to this cause.

A Unified Front

The Community Resource Fair hosted by Crosspoint brings together 25 community agencies that offer various resources to the city's residents. These services encompass a wide range of needs, from medical assistance to housing support, job placement, mental health resources, and more. With My Virtual Physician's participation, individuals in
attendance are assured of quality medical care.

My Virtual Physician's active participation in Crosspoint's 16th Annual Community Resource Fair is a commendable display of solidarity and support for individuals transitioning from incarceration, as well as their dedication to providing accessible healthcare services.

About My Virtual Physician

Our mission at My Virtual Physician is to provide all people with the best Telemedicine services. Ultimately, we want to fill the gap in men, women, and children's health services when local offices cannot get them in, don’t offer same-day services, or there are other barriers to care.

Our hope as a Telemedicine service provider is to give everyone a safe, secure, and convenient method for getting the proper care when they need it.

Dr. David at Crosspoint's 16th Annual Community Resource Fair.

A new test to detect preeclampsia was just approved by the FDA Read on to learn more about why this is a big deal!

Historically, the United States has more pregnancy-related deaths than other developed nations. And over the last two decades, that number has continued to rise—more than doubling since 1999.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are approximately 17.4 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, with causes ranging from heart complications like hypertension and preeclampsia to blood loss and post-surgical infections.

What is Preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-related complication seen after 20 weeks of pregnancy. If a woman has preeclampsia during pregnancy, it usually shows up as high blood pressure (hypertension) and the presence of proteins in the urine.

This life-threatening condition puts both mom and baby at risk. For a pregnant mother, high blood pressure increases the risk of seizures and strokes that can cause permanent brain damage and may lead to death. For babies, this condition increases the possibility of placental abruption or preterm delivery, each coming with its own set of risks.

In the US, 1 in every 25 pregnancies results in a preeclampsia diagnosis–a shocking statistic that continues to increase.

How is Preeclampsia Diagnosed & Treated

Preeclampsia is diagnosed in pregnant women after 20 weeks gestation who present with hypertension along with at least one of these symptoms:

Regular blood pressure checks during routine prenatal visits is the first step to identify preeclampsia. Women with elevated blood pressure will be monitored more closely to determine individual risk level and treatment options.

When hypertension becomes a complication in pregnancy, doctors often order additional blood or urine tests to check for proteins, platelet counts, and other indicators of abnormal organ function.

Preeclampsia is a serious, life-threatening complication. Since preeclampsia is a pregnancy-related condition, the primary treatment option is to deliver the baby.

However, if the pregnancy is very preterm, early delivery can pose risks to the baby. Treatment plans might include close observation along with symptomatic treatment for preeclampsia to allow the pregnancy to continue.

Preeclampsia is Hard to Detect and Even More Difficult to Treat

The common theme with preeclampsia is that it’s not a very specific condition. While high blood pressure is a hallmark symptom, not all hypertensive pregnant women have preeclampsia. Other symptoms include headaches and dizziness, which are also non-specific symptoms of other conditions, including a healthy pregnancy.

Currently, less than 50% of severe preeclampsia cases are identified through traditional testing. For those patients with severe high blood pressure, the urine protein test can increase those odds up to 80%–but that still leaves a pretty big gap.

It’s often up to the keen eye of a watchful doctor and the self-reporting of the patient to raise the warning flag and warrant a closer investigation. However, a new blood test from Thermo-Fisher Scientific is helping provide a clearer picture with an astounding 94% accuracy rate.

The Game Changer: A BioMarker Test for Preeclampsia

A biomarker, or biological marker, is a general label for any biological attribute that can be identified and measured in a biological test of blood, urine, or other specimens. Most often, this is the presence or absence of a substance in the genetic material that indicates normal or abnormal biological function.

This test, specifically, measures a number of placenta-related proteins in the blood, providing results in a ratio format. This test is not a replacement for conventional testing but rather a supplement that helps doctors analyze risk levels for an individual patient.

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has recently approved this blood test after seeing accurate results from a study of more than 700 patients in 18 separate hospitals. The test can effectively predict the onset of preeclampsia in high-risk patients within a two-week window.

This means the test can help doctors decide when it is safe to discharge pregnant patients hospitalized with hypertension–giving them a reliable tool to know who is safe to go home. This new blood test for preeclampsia is expected to have a positive impact, helping to reduce the maternal mortality rate in the United States.

The Bottom Line–Better Diagnostics Improve Maternal Mortality Rates

The new preeclampsia blood test from Thermo-Fisher is a big step in the right direction for reducing the number of deaths from pregnancy-related complications. Many of these deaths result from cardiovascular stress, like pregnancy-induced hypertension. This test now helps doctors be proactive and identify patients who are most at risk of developing the condition.

Telemedicine practices are on the rise, revolutionizing the way healthcare is delivered. However, a recent survey reveals that 55% of physicians find a misalignment between their patients’ expectations and what can be achieved through a virtual care model.

 

My Virtual Physician (MVP) stands out as an innovator, sharing the belief that virtual care can accomplish more for patients than ever before. While some providers offer a hybrid care model combining virtual and in-person visits, a hybrid model alone may not provide comprehensive care.

 

Let’s compare My Virtual Physician against Doctor on Demand, another popular telehealth provider, to see where MVP is breaking barriers in virtual healthcare.

What is Doctor on Demand? 

Doctor on Demand is an established telemedicine provider offering virtual visits to treat specific conditions for patients. While they offer some primary care services, their scope of services is limited. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of treatment options:

 

My Virtual Physician Doctor on Demand
Allergies ✔️ ✔️
Earaches ✔️
Cough, Cold, & Flu ✔️ ✔️
Sinus Infection ✔️ ✔️
Skin Rashes ✔️ ✔️
Pediatric Care ✔️ ✔️
Perinatal Care ✔️
STD ✔️ ✔️
Women’s Health ✔️ ✔️
Irregular Periods ✔️
Painful Periods ✔️
Birth Control ✔️
Infertility ✔️
Menopause ✔️
Acne ✔️ ✔️
Mobile Testing ✔️
Medical Marijuana ✔️
Mental Health ✔️ ✔️
Specialty Care ✔️
Wound Care ✔️
Chronic Condition Management ✔️

 

Shared Similarities between MVP and DoD

Doctor on Demand and My Virtual Physician are both complete care providers offering patients access to urgent care, primary care physicians, and pediatricians for online doctor appointments.

 

Another similarity between the two virtual providers is the availability of virtual and in-person visits. Doctor on Demand partners with certain facilities and helps patients find physical care providers.

 

My Virtual Physician, on the other hand, owns two clinics in Las Vegas with a care team employed on-site. They also provide virtual doctor visits to all 50 states offering a range from primary to specialty care physicians.

Where the Line Starts, the Divide

Doctor on Demand and My Virtual Physician appear to go toe-to-toe on paper until you start reading the fine print. That’s where MVP stands apart. My Virtual Physician is staffed with specialists, including:

And they are working to add even more specialist physicians for patients to have direct access to specialized care without a referral.

 

As far as pricing goes, Doctor on Demand comes with a bit of sticker shock. For a 15-minute virtual consultation for primary care, patients can expect to pay $79, while a 45-minute consultation with a Psychiatrist is nearly $300.

 

My Virtual Physician offers patients greater flexibility and a more straightforward pricing model. Visits are broken down into categories of acute, comprehensive, and specialty care. Depending on the nature of your visit, you’ll pay:

 

  1. Acute - $49.99 for a 15-minute consultation
  2. Comprehensive - $99.99 for chronic conditions or diseases
  3. Speciality Care- $115 for a state-specific certified physician

Care that Speaks for Itself

Reviews and ratings of telemedicine platforms provide valuable insights into patients’ experiences. Let’s address the elephant in the room between these two platforms. Doctor on Demand has a 1.5 rating on Trustpilot, indicating a significant number of negative experiences reported by users. Common complaints mention:

 

 

On the other hand, My Virtual Physician stands in stark contrast, boasting over 100 5-star reviews on Google. These positive ratings signify high satisfaction and appreciation from patients who have received care.

My Virtual Physician Breaks Barriers in Remote Care

My Virtual Physician is no doubt the forerunner in revolutionizing healthcare through telemedicine, particularly for those in remote situations. They provide a total care approach for individuals with multiple chronic illnesses, using mobile teams of certified medical assistants (MA) and specialty physicians including OBGYNs, pediatricians, internists, and more.

 

This mobile team coordinates evaluations and consultations using an actual hybrid approach, where a medical assistant travels to the patient’s home with a tablet for video connections with doctors. The MA uses assistive technology to perform physical tasks such as:

 

 

Through the power of telemedicine, doctors can directly observe and supervise critical treatments, such as wound care, from the comfort of the patient’s own home. This convenient and inclusive approach breaks barriers ensuring individuals receive comprehensive care and specialized treatments regardless of their circumstances.

The Bottom Line

Doctor on Demand and My Virtual Physician both offer online telemedicine services, providing a range of treatment options and accessible healthcare services.

 

While Doctor on Demand caters to non-emergency medical conditions, mental health concerns, and general medical advice, My Virtual Physician takes it a step further by offering a more extensive and specialized approach to care.

 

The best thing about telemedicine is that patients can reach more providers now than ever possible before. This gives patients the power to choose from more than one provider for their healthcare needs. If you’re ready to check out what My Virtual Physician can do for you, our doctors are standing by to help.

 

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Pregnancy is a special time in a mother’s life, filled with joy, anticipation, and the wonder of bringing new life into the world. It’s a unique journey that holds the promise of creating a special bond with the unborn child, nurturing the baby’s growth, and preparing for the extraordinary process of childbirth.

During this period, expecting mothers deserve access to comprehensive and compassionate healthcare. But lately, access to prenatal and maternity care has faced some limitations. So, what’s an expecting mother to do when there are no OBGYN specialists staffed at the local hospital?

A Closer Look at Labor and Delivery Unit Closures

Limited access to appropriate OBGYN care has dampened this beautiful journey for some pregnant women, particularly in rural communities. Hospital closures have been a subject of concern and discussion for several decades. Still, the facts surrounding labor and delivery are a recent alarm.

In the last decade, over 200 medical facilities have eliminated their labor and delivery units, which has affected nearly 7 million women in the United States. This concerning trend can be attributed to several factors, including:

Regardless of the driving forces behind these decisions for closures, the implications can have severe consequences for expecting mothers and their babies in the affected areas.

Far-Reaching Effects of Maternity Ward Closures

While pregnant women may be the first to notice—it’s not just expecting mothers that are affected by the aftermath of labor and delivery unit closures. The change extends beyond mere inconvenience. Let’s look at how the community at large is affected by labor and delivery ward closures in hospitals.

Increased Risk During Emergencies

Women with already high-risk pregnancies face additional risks during emergency situations. Longer transport times via ambulance can increase the risks associated with childbirth complications and may contribute to adverse outcomes and potentially life-threatening conditions.

The Strain on Remaining Facilities

The closure of labor and delivery units can place an increased burden on the remaining healthcare facilities, including hospitals and birthing centers. This strain can result in overcrowding, longer wait times, and compromised quality of care due to overwhelmed healthcare providers.

Impact on Vulnerable Populations

These closures may be disproportionately impacting vulnerable populations, including low-income individuals and those without access to reliable transportation. These groups face challenges in accessing appropriate obstetric care and may experience disparities in health outcomes as a result of local facilities closing in their local hospitals.

Solving the Gap with Virtual Doctor Appointments

Telehealth and video appointments have gained significant popularity in recent years, transforming the way healthcare services are delivered. According to a National Health Interview Survey, nearly 40% of the population has used telehealth services in 2021.

Telehealth is the use of digital communication technologies to provide healthcare services remotely. Video appointments are a subset of telehealth and involve real-time communication between patients and physicians without having to physically travel to a brick and mortar location.

Telehealth and video appointments overcome geographical barriers, making healthcare services more accessible to people in remote areas. Patients can receive care and access specialized healthcare services seeking expert opinions and recommendations without the need for extensive travel.

Telehealth allows expecting mothers to receive quality and consistent prenatal care. Virtual doctor appointments for prenatal care enable healthcare providers to monitor pregnancy progress, identify concerns, and provide necessary guidance remotely. Virtual OBGYN appointments offer a significant advantage for women located in maternity deserts.

In cases of obstetric emergencies, telehealth can play a vital role in triaging and initial consultations. Through video appointments, healthcare providers can assess the severity of the situation and determine the need for immediate transfer to an appropriate facility that is equipped to handle emergencies.

Potential Limitations of Telehealth

While telehealth services offer valuable solutions—such as convenience and ensuring continuity of care, there are some limitations to consider in the context of labor and delivery. These limitations include:

Expecting mothers need to know that they can count on their OBGYN when they need them most. Considering the ongoing nationwide labor and delivery closures, telehealth serves as peace of mind for pregnant women during this unique time. Virtual doctor appointments allow for the opportunity for patients to address prenatal concerns with an online OBGYN while receiving reassurance along the pregnancy journey, despite the local hospital maternity ward closures.

Online OBGYN Doctors are Here to Help

As we navigate the reality of continuing labor and delivery closures, we embrace telehealth as an integral part of comprehensive prenatal care models. Telehealth visits provide access to quality care for all.

My Virtual Physician provides quality healthcare and supports expecting mothers regardless of physical proximity to a labor and delivery unit. If you’re an expecting mother dealing with maternity ward closures at your local hospital, consider your options when it comes to prenatal care and don’t rule out online OBGYN prenatal care. It’s a remarkable journey to bring new life into the world, let us help make it a positive one.

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Is the cost of your doctor appointments always a surprise? To a great degree, patients can feel like the pricing on their medical visits is kept secret until after the appointment—when the bill arrives at their doorstep. Luckily, there’s a way out of the mystery of medical consultation costs.

 

In this article, we break down different types of healthcare consultations and provide the cost of a typical My Virtual Physician appointment.

Pricing Transparency

Many patients are taking back control of medical billing and saving on medical expenses along the way—through online virtual doctor appointments.

 

Online virtual doctors often provide more transparent pricing structures than traditional brick-and-mortar healthcare facilities. Instead of depending on insurance alone, telemedicine providers like My Virtual Physician take a different approach. They tend to structure the pricing based on actual time spent with each patient, with lower overhead, meaning less cost for each patient.

 

With virtual doctors, patients can see the cost of the visit before committing to an online appointment. But not all telemedicine appointments are created equally—some visits are very quick and simple, while others are more complicated.

 

In order to calculate your out-of-pocket costs for an online consultation at My Virtual Physician, you’ll need to determine the type of visit you need.

Types of Virtual Doctor Visits

There are a few types of consultations that My Virtual Physician offers in their virtual doctor services for the majority of patients. Each type covers different complexities of the physician’s involvement in your care, diagnostics, and treatment plan.

 

The main appointment types include:

  1. Acute Visits
  2. Comprehensive Visits
  3. Specialized Visits

Acute Visits - $49.99

An acute virtual doctor visit covers up to 15 minutes of consultation with your online doctor, and the purpose is to address a single health concern. Typically, these concerns appear suddenly and are not part of ongoing long-term health problems.

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Examples of medical conditions or needs that qualify for acute visits include:

Comprehensive Visits - $99.99

Comprehensive visits cover more time-intensive appointments and those with complex health factors, such as long-term management of chronic conditions or diseases, or addressing multiple health concerns.

 

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These virtual doctor services can include:

  1. Management of chronic conditions
  2. Communication of normal lab results*
  3. Duration of up to 30 minutes of consultation

 

Chronic conditions are illnesses that have been ongoing or are anticipated to require long-term management (more than six months). Examples of chronic conditions include:

 

Annual exams and STD screenings are also categorized as comprehensive virtual doctor consultations because, on many occasions, lab work** is ordered—that requires the doctor to dedicate additional time to interpret and communicate the results.

 

All surgical-related appointments—whether post-surgical or initial surgical consultations—are deemed as a comprehensive visit type My Virtual Physician due to the seriousness and complexities of surgery.

 

Specialized Visits - $115.00

My Virtual Physician began offering a third appointment type in 2023 for patients who want to get a medical marijuana card in their state. This consultation service includes a telemedicine appointment with one of our doctors, completion of a state-specific physician’s certification form, and electronic submission where applicable.

How Much Does a Virtual Doctor Appointment Cost?

A virtual doctor appointment from My Virtual Physician can cost as little as $49.99 for acute visits, even for uninsured or self-pay patients. If you have insurance, your cost may be even less. And more complicated visits that require ongoing management, labs, and prescriptions, will naturally cost more.

 

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Here’s a recap of the online visit types and costs available at My Virtual Physician:

  1. Acute Visit - $49.99
  2. Comprehensive Visit - $99.99
  3. Specialty Consultation - $115.00

Are Labs and Medications Included?

No. The rates shown above cover the costs of the telemedicine visit only. Any lab work or prescriptions ordered during your appointment are not included in the appointment price since those services are fulfilled by a third party of the patient’s choosing.

 

*Communication of normal lab results is included in My Virtual Physician’s comprehensive visit fee. However, if you have any abnormal findings, a second comprehensive visit will be required in order to discuss the results and provide a treatment plan.

 

**Lab work is not included in the appointment consultation fee and is determined between the lab facility and the patient. Medications are also not included and are determined at the pharmacy of the patient’s choosing. Read more about your pharmacy options in our Guide to Self-Pay Prescriptions.

 

My Virtual Physician wants to help those affected by the recent tragedy in Mississippi.

Our hearts go out to the victims, families, and those affected by the tragic tornadoes in the state. We would like to extend a hand in any way we can by immediately helping increase access to affordable healthcare for those affected by the devastating tornado.

My Virtual Physician is an online healthcare provider with the ability to serve patients across all 50 states. We already have the framework in place to assist patients from across the United States, including Mississippi. Our caring and compassionate virtual doctors are here to meet the medical need in this time of crisis. Our diverse group of board-certified physicians are trained in multiple areas to address a wide range of health conditions.

Our specialists include:

As an established online provider, we’d like to offer our services to those suffering as a result of the tornado by providing round-the-clock medical support to supplement local providers. If you or a loved one has been affected and want the opportunity to be seen by a virtual doctor, My Virtual Physician is here to help.

Our practice is in-network with Mississippi Medicaid. For those without insurance coverage, My Virtual Physician will offer no-cost healthcare to residents who are affected by the tornado over the next 30 days.

Call (888) 224-0804 or schedule an appointment below to get care now. If you wish to take advantage of the free care as a Mississippi resident, be sure to note such in your scheduling details.

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In a 21st century world of convenience, we’ve already got the ability to visit with doctors from the comfort of our own homes through telemedicine and virtual visits. But there’s another post-pandemic trend on the verge of emergence in the way that we visit the doctor. Mobile clinics are on the rise.

They’ve already been around for a few decades, but thanks to recently passed legislation—mobile healthcare clinics are about to get an overhaul and become a lot more commonplace, picking up 40% growth since 2019.

Find out what the new law is and how it is slated to impact your healthcare in a great big way!

What is the MOBILE Health Care Act?

The MOBILE Health Care Act is a new law (passed in 2022) that makes it easier for Medicaid healthcare providers to use federal funding to purchase and operate mobile clinics. The law was created in order to cut some red tape that previously required a brick-and-mortar facility in the region before federal funding could be used for mobile units. By eliminating the physical location requirement, it’s anticipated to expand healthcare access to harder-to-reach areas like rural communities.

Who Will Be Affected

Everyone can benefit from the new law. However, it’s especially exciting for rural communities that have limited options for healthcare. Other groups that will likely experience better access to healthcare include:

It’s important to note that low-income families who depend on Medicaid to pay for medical expenses are often limited by choice. Combining the monetary limitations of only having a small selection of doctors who accept Medicaid with the physical boundaries of rural areas can drastically reduce access to healthcare in these regions. Mobile clinics offer an opportunity to reach more Medicaid patients where they live and work.

The Future of Healthcare

My Virtual Physician is excited about the future of healthcare and how the new MOBILE Health Care Act can increase access to patients even further than telemedicine alone. We see a future where these mobile healthcare vans provide easy and convenient access to specialists to all patients—regardless of location, income level, or other circumstances. We understand there are inherent hurdles to overcome with patient access to telemedicine, and we embrace the future of merging telemedicine with mobile healthcare when and where it’s appropriate.

By combining telemedicine services with mobile clinics, patients will be granted access to hundreds of doctors rather than just the ones who are physically aboard the van. Today, technology and new legislation is letting doctors shift to meeting patients more effectively where they’re at rather than the other way around.

The MOBILE Health Care Act takes the future of healthcare a step in the right direction.

The human body miraculously knows just what to do and when to do it.

Your heart beats on its own, your lungs draw in air and push out carbon dioxide without any intentional effort on your behalf, and your food goes through your body, nutrients absorbed, and waste removed without much conscious instruction.

But sometimes, those bodily processes can get out of whack. When there is pain or disruption in automatic functioning like swallowing and digestion, it grabs our attention. Luckily, today’s technology allows doctors to see what’s happening inside the body without the use of a scalpel.

 

In this blog, we’ll talk about one way to look inside the body called an EGD. Find out:

What is an EGD?

EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) is a medical procedure used to examine your esophagus, stomach, and part of the small intestine (duodenum). During an EGD, a special tool called an endoscope is used to examine the upper GI tract. An endoscope is a soft, flexible tube with a camera attached to the end.

At the start of the EGD procedure, the endoscope enters the body through the mouth for visual inspection of the upper GI tract. This helps doctors identify any ulcers, irritation, or bleeding that may be the cause of your discomfort. Some endoscopes are even equipped with accessories for collecting biopsies (tissue samples) so that they can be sent to the lab for further analysis.

An EGD can also double as a treatment for some upper GI concerns. Some endoscopes are capable of cauterizing bleeds or removing polyps (small growths) during the procedure.

When Do You Need an EGD?

Since an EGD is a diagnostic procedure, you only need it if you’re having symptoms of an illness in the upper digestive tract. Here are some common problems that warrant a closer look through EGD:

Your doctor will help determine whether an EGD is necessary to diagnose the cause of your discomfort. If you’re experiencing the above symptoms or struggling to manage a digestive condition, My Virtual Physician can help. Reach out to our doctors today for a virtual appointment.

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If you’re already scheduled for an EGD, you may be wondering what the experience will be like. We’ll cover that next.

What is an EGD like?

It sounds pretty uncomfortable to have someone poking around inside you with a tube down your throat during the EGD procedure. Luckily, you will be under mild sedation as an outpatient procedure, allowing your experience to be very relaxed and pleasant (but still awake).

Before coming in for your EGD, your doctor will provide instructions to prep for the procedure. It’s very important to avoid eating or drinking before your procedure so that you do not aspirate. Aspiration is when your stomach contents are inhaled into your lungs. Aspiration can lead to very serious health problems like pneumonia or even death.

When you arrive at the clinic or hospital for your EG, here’s what will go down:

  1. Change into a gown
  2. Have your vitals taken
  3. Speak with the nurse, endoscopist, and anesthesiologist
  4. Partial sedation medication is given by IV
  5. Endoscopist performs the procedure (you won’t remember this part)
  6. Go to recovery for an hour
  7. Have someone drive you home

If you want to learn more about the endoscopy from a doctor’s perspective while you’re in the procedure room zoned out, check out our Talk Tuesday episode below on EGD:

What Happens After an EGD?

Immediately after your EGD, you should closely monitor your body for signs of infection, bleeding, or perforation. Since an EGD has an inherent risk of serious complications if the endoscope perforates your upper GI tract, it’s critical to go to the ER (or at least speak with a doctor) if you have any of these serious symptoms after the procedure:

About two weeks after your EGD, you’ll have a follow-up appointment with your doctor to go over the findings. If any biopsies were taken, you’ll get results during your follow-up appointment or sooner. In some cases, your doctor may have been able to treat the cause of your symptoms from the EGD alone. If not,  your doctor will make recommendations on the next steps required to restore your health.

My Virtual Physician’s Doctors Can Help

If you’re struggling with digestive issues, talk to a specialist at My Virtual Physician for help. Our virtual appointments are easy, affordable, and convenient. And our team of doctors is passionate about helping you get well. We can help you decide whether an EGD is the best route to take or if there are alternative solutions to try first.

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Women who have dedicated their lives to medicine may have an unsettling common denominator. Infertility in women is on the rise.

 

According to the American Medical Women’s Association, studies show that one in four female doctors struggle with infertility—that’s a whopping 25%. 

 

Infertility is a growing problem. In the general population of the US, 19% of couples spend more than a year trying to get pregnant. For female doctors trying to start their families, the problem seems to be exacerbated.

Fertility Basics and At-Home Testing

If you’re a physician interested in learning more about your own fertility, we have resources for you. Learn more about fertility in our four-part blog series on testing for fertility indicators. For women working in higher-risk careers, it’s important to be proactive about fertility.

  1. Curious about your fertility?
  2. How can I test my fertility at home?
  3. How do I read my fertility results?
  4. What do I do if my fertility test comes back abnormal?

Why Women in Medicine Face Infertility at a Higher Rate

A fertility specialist testing for infertility

The exact reason that women in medicine face higher infertility rates is not clear. It’s likely a combination of factors. Below, we’ll outline a few likely culprits.

Delayed Family Planning

With each menstrual cycle that passes, the chance of getting pregnant decreases. A woman under the age of thirty has a 25-30% chance of pregnancy for each cycle. By a woman’s 40s, her chances of getting pregnant are reduced to 10% per cycle.

 

It’s well-known that age plays a role in women's fertility. It’s also common knowledge that it takes several years of education, training, and focus to become a doctor. Many women in medicine choose to delay starting a family during the years before becoming licensed to practice. The average age of a woman giving birth is 27, but for women physicians—it jumps up to 32 years old.

 

Medical school and residency often take up a dozen or so of a woman’s precious child-bearing years. By the time a woman reaches physician status, she’s likely already in her thirties and her ovarian reserve begins diminishing. We encourage women in medicine to see a fertility specialist. This is especially important for women over 30 who are trying for a baby.

 

It’s simple to see how it happens. Settling down to start a family often gets put on the back burner while your career launches, and before you know it, you’re nearing forty and still without a child. All this time, you may not have considered that your fertility may be compromised.

 

Related: Infertility: When is it Time to See a Doctor?

Lifestyle

Who has time to settle down and find a mate when you’re busy trying to get trained on how to become a doctor? Busy schedules are another common reason that female doctors aren’t having babies as much as their non-physician counterparts. By the time you get back into the dating scene, your fertility has likely already peaked.

 

Other lifestyle factors that may play a role might include working in high-stress environments (although the relationship between stress and infertility is not well-understood), poor diet, lack of exercise, alcoholism, and more. The answer to the exact cause of the correlation between female physicians and infertility is still being studied.

What Can Female Physicians Do to Promote Fertility Health?

Recognizing that there is a relationship between career choice and infertility is the first step to being proactive. Women in medicine must be informed that they are embarking on a career choice that could put them at a higher risk of infertility.

 

Even though women in medicine struggle more than others with infertility, there are proactive steps that can be taken to combat infertility in women.

 

Below are a few steps you can consider taking now:

 

  1. Test your fertility: Learn how to test your fertility from home.
  2. Naturally boost your fertility: Check out this article for some steps you can take today to naturally boost your fertility.
  3. Conceive earlier: Avoid putting off starting your family and conceive while still in training.
  4. Consult with a fertility specialist: Early intervention can increase your chances of conceiving.
  5. Consider cryopreservation: Freeze your eggs for when you’re ready.

 

If you’re currently struggling to conceive, our online OBGYNs can help with treating infertility.

How an Online OBGYN Can Help

If you’re a female physician who is concerned about this trend of women's infertility in the profession, My Virtual Physician is in your corner. We’re here to consult with you and provide answers. We can assist with regular fertility testing and our online OBGYNs serve patients in all 50 states.

 

If you’ve already received a concerning fertility test result, we’re available to consult with you on the best plan of action to move your fertility forward. Online appointments are available now; book your appointment today to meet with our board-certified OBGYNs.

 

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