A Thorough Examination of Medical Clinics
Who's on call: An M.D. (possibly even your own).
Services offered: General consultations and second opinions.
The details: If your doctor subscribes to a service such as Relay Health (relayhealth.com) or Intuit Health (intuithealth.com), you can log on to the website to get in touch with her virtually—for information about a new medication, say, or to ask a follow-up question after an in-office appointment. If you have already seen a doctor about a problem but want a second opinion on a prescribed course of treatment, online consultants at the Cleveland Clinic’s MyConsult (my.clevelandclinic.org) and the Massachusetts General Hospital–affiliated Partners Online Specialty Consultations (econsults.partners.org) can help. You fill out a detailed medical history, choose the consultant you would like to have weigh in (if you wish), have your doctor fax records if necessary, and receive feedback in about a week.
Cost: An online consultation with your own doctor is typically the price of your insurance copay, but not all insurance plans cover virtual visits. Second opinions may also not be covered and can cost hundreds of dollars.