Columbus, OH. Last year, Zach wrote about Pager, a service developed by a co-founder of Uber that can deliver a doctor to your door in 2 hours or less. Since then, we’ve seen this trend continue to gain momentum. Doctors Making Housecalls (DMH), FirstLine, and Heal have since joined the space. Although they currently have limited service areas (Heal & FirstLine are in the Los Angeles area; Pager – New York City, and DMH – Charlotte), they are receiving significant funding and are quickly expanding into other cities like Boston and San Francisco.
According to FirstLine, there are two early-adopter patient groups: millennials, aged 18-27 that don’t have a primary care doctor. And moms and caregivers aged 28 to 40, who may have a regular primary care doctor, but value the convenience. For Pager, the primary user is wealthy Manhattanites, but hopes to appeal to a broader audience when they begin accepting insurance.
On the doctor-side, the services leverage independently contracted physicians, much like drivers in the Uber model. Steven Jacobs of Streetfight Magazine notes that “a bevy of part-time suppliers also means [Pager] needs to manage a larger and less-dedicated pool of providers. To ensure availability, the company guarantees doctors a minimum amount of revenue per hour that they are on-call for the service.”
The current cost of the services vary slightly. Heal and Pager charge flat fees per visit. Heal is a $99 flat fee for a doctor visit for children or adults. Pager visits are $50 for first-time and $200 per visit afterwards (but only $25 if it can be treated over the phone). FirstLine is a subscription model. Patients pay a one-time initiation fee of $25 and after that, the service costs $15 per month, which includes access to phone, video chat, and text message consultations, available between 8 am and 10 pm.