How to get treated for medical conditions online with Alpha Medical
New to telemedicine? Here’s a step-by-step guide to Alpha’s online consultation process.
For a long time, our healthcare system has been more stressful than it needs to be. Figuring out insurance, long-wait times, and the sheer expense of a doctor’s visit are just some of the things that prevent people from getting the care they need. Well, no more.
Welcome to Alpha Medical.
We’re a telemedicine platform that offers consultation and treatment for over 70 percent of medical conditions — all online.
When something’s wrong, we’re so used to the rigmarole of calling our doctor’s office, booking an appointment, taking time off, going to the appointment, then sitting in the waiting room, until finally our name is called and we get to see the doctor.
Instead, Alpha Medical provides treatment remotely, via our online platform.
You might be wondering: how does this work? How does the doctor figure out what medication I need? What if I have follow-up questions?
We know telemedicine is new for many people, so here is a step-by-step guide to using Alpha’s website. We’ll take you through the consultation process from start to finish.
View what we treat
We treat a wide range of conditions, from allergies to sexually transmitted infections (STIs). See below for some of the conditions that we treat. If you’re looking for more, view a list of all our conditions from A to Z.
Let’s say you wanted to get treated for allergies. Clicking on “allergies” takes you to our allergies page, where we describe what allergies are, the types of treatments we offer and information about potential causes, symptoms, triggers and/or risk factors. We want to provide you with as much information as possible so you can learn more before diving into the consultation process.
Once you’re ready to start an online visit click “get started” or “get treated” anywhere on our page and you’ll be prompted to create an account.
You can complete an individual visit for a specific condition (one-time medical consultation fee) or you sign up for Alpha Membership, which gives you up to 24 free visits for $120 a year plus unlimited messaging with our medical team (and you don’t have to create a new visit to ask follow-up questions!)
Create an account
Email and basic info
All you need is an email address to sign up. That’s right — no insurance needed. If you do have insurance, you’ll be prompted to enter that information later on.
For now, you’ll enter your state (we operate in over 50% of the U.S., and are expanding), date of birth, and sex assigned at birth.
Next you’ll see who your Alpha Provider will be — either a board certified doctor or nurse practitioner licensed to practice in your state.
Our medical team is led by our Chief Medical Director Dr. Mary Jacobson, who we fondly call “Dr. J”. She’s a licensed obstetrician and gynecologist with a passion for making healthcare accessible. Read more about Dr. J here!
With Alpha, I saw an opportunity to really fill in all of the gaps that I’ve observed in medicine over the years. People might not believe it, but us doctors really do care and want to change or better a great many things. — Dr. Mary Jacobson
Next we’ll ask if you have insurance and whether you want to pay for treatment with your insurance. We accept insurance (except Medicaid) for most prescriptions. For more information, check out our FAQs about insurance.
If you don’t have insurance, no worries. You can opt to pay with a credit or debit card.
Tell us about you
Here we’ll ask a series of questions about you. We’ll need to know basics like your height and weight, if you’re pregnant, or if you’re sexually active.
Everybody is different, and has different needs. We ask these personal questions to ensure we give you the best treatment and advice that accounts for every aspect of your situation.
For example, knowing if you’re sexually active will help our providers know if to factor potential pregnancy symptoms, birth control or STI testing into treatment.
Describe your symptoms and medical history
Then we’ll ask about the condition you’re seeking treatment for.
For example, if you’re seeking treatment for allergies, we’ll ask things like:
- What triggers your allergies?
- Which signs and symptoms do you have?
- How often do you have these symptoms?
- What types of treatment or medication do you currently use?
By understanding the types of symptoms and the severity of symptoms, our providers can tailor treatment according to your needs.
Upload photos if needed
Depending on the condition, we’ll ask you to upload a couple pictures for our providers to examine. For example, people seeking treatment for acne can upload pictures of their skin so we can determine the type of acne and treat it accordingly.
You can go back at any step if you think you missed something. At the end of the questions, we’ll ask if you have any questions, and you’ll be able to write in a response if you do. You can also include any additional information about your medical history for your provider to review.
The importance of medical history
We’ll also ask about your medical history, your family’s medical history, and any medications you might be using to treat other conditions.
Medical history is important because some diseases — like asthma, diabetes, and some types of cancer — run in families. A patient’s medical history could give doctors extra clues about what might be causing symptoms and help determine future health risks.
Knowing medications is important because some medications may interact with each other. We wouldn’t want to prescribe additional meds that could offset your current medication.
A note about COVID-19
We’ll also ask if you’ve been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 recently. During the pandemic, it’s important that our providers can assess whether COVID-19 could be causing certain symptoms, or whether the virus could create further complications.
Payment, shipping, ID, and insurance
Now that you’ve finished answering our intake questions, we’re on to logistics.
Like any other online service, we’ll need your shipping and payment information. For starters, you’ll only get billed the cost of the online consultation: $30. If you sign up for Alpha Membership, the visit will be $0.
The rest of your treatment cost depends on what medication you’re prescribed, and you’ll only be billed for medication after an Alpha Provider approves it. If you choose to use insurance, we will ask you to approve your co-pay if it is more than $20.
Lastly, you’ll upload some form of photo ID and your insurance information.
Then, congrats! You’ve done your part. Now, our medical team takes over.
Chat with our medical providers
The beauty of Alpha is that we respond to you within 24 hours, no matter when you submit the consultation or what type of condition we’re treating. If it’s an urgent care case, we’ll respond within 8 hours.
Our providers will communicate via our HIPAA compliant, secure messaging portal, which you can access at app.helloalpha.com via browser or mobile.
In some cases, one of our providers will respond with extra information about your condition and a recommended prescription.
In other cases, they might ask followup questions before prescribing treatment. If a lab test or an in-person doctor’s visit are needed to treat your condition, our providers will help connect you to options.
For example, if we need a blood test to help rule out underlying conditions, we’ll send an order to one of our partner labs near you. After the test, results are sent directly back to our Alpha and our providers will share them with you.
Once we’ve worked out a treatment plan and prescribed medication, you can choose to accept it. Then we’ll mail medication to you or your nearest pharmacy in three to five business days. Shipping is free!
For recurring medications, your prescriptions arrive automatically before you run out — no further action needed on your end and you can cancel or update your shipping frequency anytime.
In Conclusion: We’re here for you
Seeking healthcare should not be stressful or complicated. That’s why we’re here. Once you’ve created an account, you can log in anytime at app.helloalpha.com to access information about previous visits, message our medical team, or start a new visit.
We also offer pediatrics care (you can add a child to your account), mental health services, and discreet STI testing. For more information, check out our FAQs or check out our blog on Medium.
If you’re ready to join the Alpha family and receive online treatment, get started today!