HealthTap, best known for its online health question and answer knowledge base curated by real doctors, is looking to join the ranks of real-time virtual doctor visit platforms such as MDLIVE, American Well, Teladoc, and Doctor on Demand. Actually, it’s looking to outrank these virtual health platforms to become the Amazon of virtual health care. It already offers physician-reviewed health news and health/wellness app recommendations, as well as creates a snapshot of your health profile based on your HealthTap use. Last week HealthTap announced a new Prime service that gives subscribers unlimited access to live videoconferences with doctors for $99 a month, plus $10 for every additional family member. HealthTap Prime could be great for some patients, especially those suffering from chronic conditions. But is HealthTap Prime good for doctors?
Should You Become a HealthTap Virtual Doctor?
If you’re a physician licensed to practice in two or more states, HealthTap wants to recruit you. But it’s not clear whether they expect you to close your practice and go completely online with them. Photos on their website’s homepage show doctors skydiving and playing with their children, presumably because they’re now liberated from having to keep office hours.
Like most employers, HealthTap doesn’t advertise how much they pay, except that it depends on the number of patients you see and how well you rate. But in order to enjoy that kind of lifestyle, HealthTap doctors must be compensated very well. Otherwise, you would need to spend many long hours consulting patients by video before you could begin to earn nearly as much as a typical doctor’s income.
Before you rush to enlist in HealthTap’s army, consider what the job entails. You’ll be doing more than just consulting with patients online.The job description on HealthTap’s website calls for doctors who are willing to:
- Identify and engage licensed, board certified physicians to join the Prime network (read: recruit your fellow physicians for HealthTap)
- Partner with the Community and Social teams to drive enthusiastic word-of-mouth advocacy among our Prime and Network Experts (read: do some marketing for HealthTap)
- Act as a resource for new Prime physicians (read: training new hires)
So in addition to working as a consulting physician, you will also be responsible for marketing, recruiting, and training.
Given what HealthTap has to offer, why would any doctor sign up with them?
You might be better off working with Doctor on Demand, which charges patients only $40 for a 15-minute consultation. You would get to keep $30 of that, which adds up to $120 per hour.
Even better, consider working with AskMD, an online consultation service of ShareCare health and wellness social platform co-founded by Dr. Oz. AskMD provides you with an online presence that you control. And rather than replace your practice, AskMD improves it by giving you a way to “meet” your patients before they arrive at your door.