Innerbody is independent and reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn More

HeyDoctor Review: Is their telemedicine a good value?

HeyDoctor gives you virtual doctors visits and medical services from home -- find out if you should try it

Last Updated: Apr 30, 2020

HeyDoctor Review

Telemedicine started as a promising way to provide specialist care to rural or isolated communities. Now, thanks to faster internet and HD video livestreams, patients from all walks of life can access cheaper and faster medical care.

HeyDoctor is a telemedicine service with a mission. It was founded by Brendan Levy, a California-based doctor and telemedicine veteran who is committed to expanding healthcare access among the uninsured.

We’ve all heard the stories about routine visits racking up huge bills because of unexpected charges or misunderstandings – and this keeps many from picking up the phone and calling for help. The HeyDoctor team has designed its offer around simplicity and up-front prices.

Review Summary

Pros

  • Highly qualified team of doctors with visible credentials.
  • Transparent pricing – their “menu-like” price list is straightforward and easy to read, which eliminates any guesswork and surprises.
  • HeyDoctor’s proprietary app is very intuitive.
  • For some tests, they’ve negotiated special discounted pricing with LabCorp and Quest facilities.
  • The in-app “Messages” feature lets their doctors ask for additional information and provides patients with real-time updates in a secure interface.
  • Location-based features help you find the most affordable pharmacies and specialists in your area.

Cons

  • HeyDoctor doesn’t take insurance.
  • Although you can submit your visit at any time, prescriptions and referrals will only be sent out during office hours.
  • HeyDoctor’s service menu works best if you begin with an idea of what you need.
  • Not available in all states; sharing your location during setup will allow them to confirm service in your area.

Bottom line

Affordable and intuitive, HeyDoctor is a great option for anyone looking to deal with infections, screenings, or regular medication refills. If you are trying to manage a new chronic condition, HeyDoctor will let you bypass some of the hoops that stand between you and regular care.

Most of the complex conditions they can detect will be referred to a specialist in a more traditional setting. However, they will help you plan your budget and find affordable options along the way.

Why you should trust us

Innerbody Research recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary online. Over the past two decades, we have helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions involving staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.

We extensively test each health service we review, including HeyDoctor. We try our best to give you, our readers, an unbiased exploration of at-home health services, free of marketing jargon or gimmicks. We evaluate the service based on our adherence to quality, the latest medical evidence and health standards, and a simple question: would we buy the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job, and would we recommend it to family and friends?

Additionally this review of HeyDoctor, like all health-related content on this website, was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.

What is HeyDoctor and what do they do?

HeyDoctor is a telemedicine service that seeks to simplify the paperwork and costs attached to healthcare. All HeyDoctor services are offered remotely, through either their website or their smartphone app.

These include basic diagnostics, screenings, and prescriptions for many chronic conditions. They are all offered from a “menu-like” list that shows you the final price for each service. This way, you can order the type of consult you need without fearing any unpleasant surprise on the final bill.

Their medical staff will communicate with you via messages or video chat, help you clarify your doubts, and guide you in designing a sustainable care plan. If necessary, they can also provide you with a prescription, a lab request, or a referral to a local specialist.

You should note that they don’t have their own pharmacy network – so any prescriptions will be sent to a pharmacy you choose. The cost for the medication itself, or any delivery fees (in the case of mail-order pharmacies) will not be up to them.

What products and services does HeyDoctor offer?

Right now, HeyDoctor offers over 20 different telemedicine services, which fall into one of these categories:

  1. Family planning and birth control

  2. Screening and testing services

  3. Primary care treatments and refills

  4. Addiction support

Getting started with HeyDoctor

To receive a remote consultation via HeyDoctor, here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Create an account

This account will be tied to your email address and your identity, so it’s meant to help them keep your medical history organized. It’s very important not to share accounts or to let anyone else set it up for you.

The account creation process itself is very simple. You will need to provide them with your date of birth, home address and a payment method – but it all follows the same logic that you would expect when creating an account with Uber or Amazon.

Step 2: Choose a visit type or service

Just click on any of the available visit types on your main account page. You will see the cost right next to it. Then fill out the questionnaire shown. All of the information they collect at this stage will be sent to one of their physicians for review. At this stage, and depending on the service you choose, you will also have the option to add your pharmacy preferences.

This can be either a traditional brick-and-mortar pharmacy or a mail-order online one (such as GoGoMeds).

Step 3: Check with the medical team

The HeyDoctor medical team will review your information and contact you. Depending on your state, they will message you or start a video call with you. This is the time to ask any questions, provide further information, or clear any doubts about your symptoms.

If you have installed the HeyDoctor app, you will be able to receive these messages on the go.

Step 4: Receive your treatment plan or prescription

After completing your online visit, you will receive your full treatment plan. This will include any additional instructions or information regarding further testing or medication. (And in case you need it later, this information will be stored in the “My Treatment Plans” section, both on the app or your main account page.) If your doctor prescribed any medication, you can choose between having the prescription mailed to you directly or sent to the pharmacy you listed during step 2.

What if the doctor determines you aren’t a candidate for the chosen service

HeyDoctor’s up-front pricing and service menu would actually be inconvenient if they did not protect customers from spending money on an appointment that ends up doing them little good. Thankfully this is not a problem, because HeyDoctor has put in place an important safeguard for patients.

If you select and pay for a visit to address a concern or interest, but the doctor who visits with you determines that you aren’t a suitable candidate for the treatment path you chose, then your money will be fully refunded and you’ll also receive advice on good next steps for you to take.

In other words, there are two possible outcomes from pursuing a HeyDoctor telemedicine service, both of which are beneficial for the patient:

  1. The doctor consults with you and determines a proper treatment plan to address your concerns, and then the treatment can begin.

  2. The doctor consults with you and determines the service is not right for you, at which point your money is refunded and you get valuable medical advice (free of charge) about next steps to consider.

Family planning and birth control services

Traditionally, reproductive health encompasses everything from basic gynecology checkups to childbirth and delivery. Not every aspect of reproductive health can be done remotely, but HeyDoctor has made sure to provide as many services as they can. These include family planning options, pregnancy testing, and screening for sexually transmitted diseases.

Birth control prescriptions -- $20

This service is aimed at women of reproductive age, usually between the ages of 18 and 50, who want to prevent pregnancy.

HeyDoctor can provide you with prescriptions or refills for almost all brands of oral contraception (the pill) and dermal patches. However, they cannot provide any IUDs or implants: these require a small procedure in order to be put in place, which can’t be done remotely.

Internal condom prescriptions -- $20

Internal condoms are an efficient option for women between 18 and 50 years old who wish to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

Pregnancy screening -- $20

If you recently took a home pregnancy test, or suspect you may be pregnant, you may want to confirm this with a laboratory-grade test. HeyDoctor can help you get a referral to a local lab so you can get a more thorough urine or blood test.

Screening and testing

Before jumping onto a brand new treatment, it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis. This means a doctor must look at all your symptoms, your past medical history, and any other circumstances that may put you at special risk.

For infectious diseases (those caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites), an accurate diagnosis will be the first step to find an efficient treatment. It will also help you protect those around you. On the other hand, many chronic conditions may not be contagious but are significantly easier to manage if diagnosed early.

HeyDoctor can help you get the tests you need in order to arrive at a proper diagnosis. The company will also help you get a prescription to kickstart your treatment, or a referral for a more complete exam if needed. These tests can all be ordered within one business day, keeping paperwork to a minimum.

Pre-diabetes and diabetes testing -- $20

This service is meant for people over 18 who suspect they may have type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes (insulin resistance). HeyDoctor can write you a lab request for blood sugar testing and insulin sensitivity. These results will help you determine whether you have diabetes or are at risk of developing it.

HIV testing -- $20

This service is ideal for anyone who suspects they may have contracted HIV. HeyDoctor can help you assess your risk level and refer you to a lab for blood testing.

Metabolic performance testing -- $50

This service encompasses a review of many common tests meant to give a complete picture of your overall health – think of the ones that would be commonly ordered during a yearly checkup. This includes a complete blood count, blood sugar levels, and a urine test to check for kidney function. HeyDoctor can send a request to a lab close to you, and then help you interpret the results.

Vitamin D screening and testing -- $50

Low Vitamin D often goes unnoticed among young women but can increase your risk of fractures and brittle bones as you age. This service includes a lab order to test your vitamin D levels and is meant for any women aged 18 to 60 who may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

Hepatitis C screening -- $50

This is a viral infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). It mainly affects the liver, but it can be completely symptom-free for years. This is why the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends different at-risk groups of people to get tested for hepatitis C. This includes those with immunity problems, IV drug users, or anyone born between 1945 and 1965.

Tuberculosis testing -- $100

Tuberculosis or TB is a potentially deadly lung infection. It is particularly common among the immune-compromised, healthcare workers, and those who have recently traveled to certain countries. HeyDoctor can organize a referral for tuberculosis testing at a lab close to your home.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) screening -- Free

Using the guidelines provided by the CDC, HeyDoctor can help you determine if you should get a referral for a lab test, or if you should isolate or seek medical attention immediately.

Blood type testing -- $100

It’s necessary to know your blood type before getting a transfusion or undergoing many types of emergency or scheduled surgery. Besides, the military, some workplaces, and many schools may also need to know your blood type information as part of their emergency procedures. HeyDoctor can get you an order for a blood-type test.

Treatment services

HeyDoctor’s treatment services include prescriptions for common or day-to-day illnesses, as well as maintenance medication and prevention strategies for many chronic conditions.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) -- $30

These infections are particularly common among women aged 18 to 60, and often affect the bladder or kidneys. Approximately 60% of women will experience a UTI at some point in their life, and approximately 20% of them suffer from recurrent infections.

Some of the most common UTI symptoms include pain while urinating, pelvic pain, and even fever. At HeyDoctor, a UTI consultation will help you determine whether you have a UTI. You can also get a same-day antibiotic prescription.

Cold sores -- $30

Chronic, painful, but mostly harmless, cold sore outbreaks tend to pop up again whenever immunity goes down or stress goes up. HeyDoctor can get you a prescription-strength cold sore cream sent to your pharmacy of choice within a day.

High cholesterol medication -- $20

High cholesterol usually needs to be tackled through a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. If you’re already receiving successful treatment and your current condition is stable, HeyDoctor can also send you a prescription refill.

Hypothyroidism medication -- $30

Thyroid problems are usually life-long or recurrent conditions. If your condition is stable and you have no complications, HeyDoctor can send a prescription refill for hypothyroidism medication.

Acne -- $30

Most people suffer from acne at some point, although not everyone requires treatment for it. Through a video or picture assessment, HeyDoctor can help you get prescription-strength creams or medication for acne.

Eyelash growth -- $20

This service is meant for people who have lost their eyelashes due to immune conditions, allergic reactions, or chronic eye inflammation. A HeyDoctor consultation will help you determine whether you would benefit from medication to boost your eyelash growth.

Anaphylaxis prevention -- $20

Meant for people with life-threatening allergies, this service provides you with a prescription for an emergency epinephrine auto-injector (Epi-Pen or similar).

Erectile dysfunction – $30

This service was meant for men between 25 and 65 who are having problems achieving or maintaining an erection. This service includes a remote assessment and, if necessary, a prescription to your pharmacy of choice.

Male-pattern hair loss – $20

There are many possible causes of hair loss among men. HeyDoctor’s hair loss service includes a remote review of your type of hair loss and your medical history. They can also provide you with a prescription meant to prevent any further hair loss or to help it grow back.

Addiction support

Addiction and substance dependence are long-term conditions that are difficult to treat. Usually, they require a combination of psychological and medical interventions. Some medications can help battle the early symptoms of withdrawal or save the life of a person overdosing.

Smoking cessation -- $30

If you want to quit smoking, you deserve all the help you can get. Some medications can help you increase your chances of success. The “Quit Smoking” service offered by HeyDoctor includes a prescription and actionable, evidence-based advice to help you succeed.

Emergency naloxone -- $20

Naloxone, often known as Narcan, is a quick-acting medication that can save the life of a person who has overdosed in opiates or heroin. HeyDoctor will send a prescription to your pharmacy of choice.

Privacy Considerations

HeyDoctor offers a variety of prescriptions and tests, and some of them target particularly sensitive topics. Thankfully the HeyDoctor team has set up several safeguards to protect their users’ right to privacy.

HeyDoctor is HIPAA-compliant. All their medical staff are fully licensed to practice in the U.S. and therefore abide by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996). Additionally their administrative staff has received training on patient confidentiality and HIPAA. HeyDoctor is aware of the importance of the information they handle and the possible repercussions of accidentally spreading it. They take privacy seriously.

A key part of HeyDoctor’s services includes sending prescriptions to pharmacies or tests requests to different labs. However, their app requires you to manually confirm before each prescription is sent away. In this way, nothing will be sent by default.

Finally, any messages sent between you and their staff members through their app are encrypted. No encryption technology is 100% secure, but they are still significantly safer than the standard SMS.

HSA, FSA and health insurance

Most of HeyDoctor’s services are targeted specifically at people who do not have insurance or don’t wish to go through their insurers. This is why they do not work with any insurance companies, and their charges are not eligible for HSA or FSA withdrawals right now – although they hope to implement HSA payments soon. If you do have insurance, you can have your prescription sent to a pharmacy within your coverage network. Depending on your plan, they may cover some or all your medication expenses.

What criteria do we use to judge health service companies?

At Innerbody Research, we customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related service. For HeyDoctor and other health services and products, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations, including:

Quality: How well does the company deliver its core service(s) to the customer? For testing services, does the company adhere to the latest and most advanced testing technologies and achieve a very high degree of accuracy? For non-testing telehealth services, is the quality of the service high enough that we would recommend it to loved ones without hesitation? If not, why not?

User-friendly: How intuitive and user-friendly is the service? Does the device/program/app/website achieve a good degree of user-friendliness for its customers?

Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the company offer discounts?

Privacy: If health data is stored, will your data be stored securely? Are payments secure?

Customer support: Particularly in situations where ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t make sense, how well does the company help to make the service ideal for you?