by Focus Middle Tennessee Staff
This year has been challenging, to say the least. With social distancing and wearing of masks we’re able to venture out. However, for healthcare, more and more people are switching to telemedicine. It’s a great option. It not only keeps you safe, it saves time and in the case of myURGENCYMD, money.
Focus: Why did you start myURGENCYMD?
Dr. James: I’ve been an ER doctor for 15 years and at the beginning of my career, I would sometimes get frustrated with people who came for what I deemed ‘urgencies’ and not emergencies. The longer I practiced, the more I realized that, for some, the ER was the only place they could come to get care. Some people had jobs where they couldn’t get to a doctor until late at night. Most didn’t have
primary care physicians.
The majority of others were either uninsured or underinsured and a lot were there because the ER has doctors 24/7 and they weren’t obligated to make a payment prior to being seen.
Seeing my frustrations were misplaced, I wanted to offer health care that was high-quality, convenient, and affordable. In doing my research and evaluating where I could have the most impact, telemedicine became the answer. I took the leap of faith and stepped away from the ER in 2018 and founded myURGENCYMD.
Focus: What goals do you have for myURGENCYMD?
Dr. James: In 2017, there were 139 million visits to an ER and, per the American Medical Association, over 70% of them could have been handled using telemedicine. If you’ve ever been, you know ER overcrowding is horrible!
Although a lofty goal, I want myURGENCYMD to tackle ER overcrowding by offering a viable and affordable alternative to those with and without insurance.
Additionally, I want to work with my fellow LGBT+ community by providing access to teletherapy so that myURGENCYMD can assist in decreasing the rates of depression, anxiety and suicide. A lot of people are suffering in silence and we want to become an intermediary that helps them find their voice.
Focus: What services are available?
Dr. James: We have unlimited telemedicine, teletherapy and healthcare advocacy services available for a family of seven with a monthly subscription cost of $24.95.
Our telemedicine service includes unlimited 24/7/365 consults with board-certified doctors who can consult with members via video, phone or email. We have coverage in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
myURGENCYMD’s Ask-ADoctor email system gives members access to nine different specialty providers including Ophthalmologists, Psychologists, Pediatricians, Dietitians, General Practitioners, Sports Medicine, Pharmacists, Nutritionists, Dentists and Alternative Medicine.
A service that myURGENCYMD is very proud to offer is teletherapy. The rate of depression and suicide is increasing, especially among 18 to 24-year olds. Seeing a therapist can be costly and some people don’t want to compromise their confidentiality by being seen in an office. Our service provides confidential, unlimited access to Masters Level therapists. Our members are able to speak with the same counselor to keep continuity and build rapport.
We also offer a Patient Healthcare Advocate Service. A simple way to describe them is a person who helps our members navigate the healthcare system. They can explain insurance policies, negotiate medical bills on a members’ behalf, make appointments, audit hospital bills, find charity care or apply for Medicaid and the list goes on.
Seeing how complex the healthcare industry is these days, one can see how we all need advocates. All of our services are protected on our HIPAA-compliant, secure and encrypted SSL servers. There are no contracts and we never charge co-pays or fees.
Focus: What feedback have you received about myURGENCYMD so far?
Dr. James: While I expected myURGENCYMD to be a successful venture, I really had no idea the impact that it would make on so many people’s lives so soon.
We’ve had members give us testimonials about how knowledgeable and professional our doctors are and specifically mention their excellent “phone side manner”. Others have said that they are relieved when traveling because they can still use our service.
FOR MORE INFO
For more information about myUrgencyMD, visit myurgencymd.com