Obtaining treatment for depression and anxiety requires overcoming insurance denials, unexpected bills, difficulty scheduling appointments, scrambling for prescription refills, and waits at the pharmacy. The healthpiper system provides the patient simplicity, control and respect, while at the same time making the advice and guidance of your doctor as instantly and effortlessly available as possible. We did it by carefully harnessing mobile technology to turn an aggravating experience into a satisfying one. Using healthpiper, you sign up, meet with your doctor via video chat, agree on a treatment, and have your medication shipped to your door. We track how you are doing via our mobile app, and your doctor is available throughout the day and most weekends to promptly answer questions via instant message, and adjust treatment as needed, collaboratively. Treatment the way it should be. Simple.Back to top
We have replaced travel with a simple, elegant, healthcare-secure mobile app, available for both iOS and android. You can also access healthpiper using a web browser on any Windows or Mac computer. Our goal is for you to manage all aspects of your care through the app and never have to travel, period. Not to your doctor’s office, not to the pharmacy. You use our secure video chat for your appointments with your doctor. Your medication is shipped to your door. And perhaps most importantly, your doctor is available throughout the day and most weekends to answer your questions, provide guidance, and make treatment adjustments via the secure instant messaging built into the app. You don’t have to wait for your next appointment to find out if it’s okay to take your medication with food. Send an instant message whenever you have a question or need something. During daytime hours both weekdays and weekends, we will often answer within seconds.Back to top
We have just launched healthpiper, and all patients who start treatment now will have as their doctor our founder, Joshua Freedman MD, a graduate of Yale Medical School and a supervising faculty member at the UCLA Mood Disorders Clinic. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and is a Castle-Connolly Top Doctor. As we start to let other doctors to join the healthpiper platform, we will allow verified patients to rate their experience with their doctor. Only highly rated doctors will be retained on the healthpiper platform.Back to top
We assign your own personal assistant, whom we call your “Concierge”. Your Concierge is dedicated to making sure you get wonderful service. If Starbucks can find people who lift your spirits when you order a cup of coffee, we figured we could do the same for healthcare. Your Concierge helps make sure things go smoothly. So you can focus on getting better, instead of wrestling with healthcare bureaucracy.Back to top
MDs traditionally charge for appointments, and nothing if you call or email them between visits. Not surprisingly, it is often challenging to communicate with your MD unless you travel to their office for an appointment. Under the healthpiper pricing, you pay a flat fee of $99/month, and communicate whenever a question or issue arises, by instant message or video chat. Your doctor will ask for video chat meetings if they think it would be helpful (you can ask for them as well) and your doctor and your Concierge are available to you throughout the day and weekends by instant message, when you need them. We have found it a terrific way to work together seamlessly, and we think you will too.Back to top
One element of the medication treatment of depression and anxiety that is particularly aggravating is the process of filling prescriptions. Anyone who is filled a prescription knows about the unpredictable waits at the pharmacy, the prior authorization holdups, and the phone tag between doctor and pharmacist, but they probably don’t realize just how much these inefficiencies artificially raise the price that patients pay for medication. By working with a pharmacy partner and streamlining the process by not dealing with health insurance, we are able to reduce the costs and ship most SSRI medications to you- which are the most commonly recommended top choices by accepted treatment guidelines for both depression and anxiety, for $10, including free overnight shipping. (You may always choose to use a different pharmacy, or may be prescribed a medication that is not on the Included medications list, in which case we will electronically transmit your doctor's prescription to that pharmacy and you will pay the pharmacy for your medications as you would if healthpiper weren't involved.)Back to top
We started healthpiper because we think it is far too hard to get quality medication treatment for depression and anxiety. And we know that we can greatly streamline and simplify the current system of poorly coordinated insurance companies, doctors, and pharmacies. But our streamlined model is not right for everyone. Some reasons healthpiper might not be right for you: you prefer to meet your doctor in person, rather than communicate via video chat and instant messaging. You don’t want medication treatment for your depression or anxiety (for example, you want only talk therapy). Your symptoms are strong enough that you don't feel confident you won't hurt yourself (if this is the case there is nothing to ponder – call 911 or go to an emergency room.) You already have a doctor you like and want to keep who doesn't use the healthpiper platform and doesn’t want to join. You prefer to use your health insurance to get your treatment. You have done well in the past, (or are doing well in the present) with traditional in-person treatment. If you are unsure if healthpiper is right for you, then you can proceed with a free evaluation as to whether we are a good fit.Back to top
As soon as you sign-up, without paying anything, you will be connected to a Concierge who can answer questions about the process. We will have you complete an automated self-report online assessment and ask you some additional questions to help assess whether we think the approach taken by healthpiper is best for you. A doctor will review your results, (and may ask you some questions via the app). If we think you would do better in a more traditional setting, we will explain why, and suggest some options. You pay us nothing.Back to top
If we think that healthpiper would be a good fit for you and you decide that you want to proceed, you will be assigned a doctor (for now everyone will get Dr. Joshua Freedman) and pay a one-time refundable fee of $199. You will then schedule a video meeting with your doctor, but because you and your doctor are already connected via the secure instant messaging built into the healthpiper app, you can begin communicating with each other immediately. Also, because there’s no travel involved, if you would like, you can break your video chat meeting with your doctor into multiple shorter meetings. You and your doctor will together come up with a plan for your treatment and can begin it immediately. (If instead you and your doctor decide that you’re getting your treatment via healthpiper isn’t as good a solution as a more traditional approach, then your doctor will refer you to treatment that is better suited to your needs, and we will immediately order a full refund of the $199.)Back to top
As with our app, we designed our pricing to be simple and to support attentive care. A conventional doctor charges you every time that you meet with them, while with healthpiper, you pay the same amount every month, and almost all communication is by messaging (everyone has a videochat before we start treatment, which is a one-time charge of $199.) We feel for most people, our approach is better – you don’t have to worry that whenever you have a question or concern you will be told to schedule an appointment, take time off from work or school, have to wait to get your answer, and pay for a session. With healthpiper, you simply message us and you usually will get your answer within minutes, and we virtually always will respond the same day, unless you message after your doctor has already gone to sleep, in which case we will reply first thing in the morning. We guarantee that you will be pleased – each month, we provide treatment before you pay for it, and we message you to make sure you’re delighted before we charge your card. If you ever are not, the month is free, and we will help you find treatment elsewhere, with our apologies for not doing a better job. We are confident that won’t happen though- we have provided thousands of months of service, and most people spontaneous send us messages that they are pleased; frequently they comment that they are amazed and grateful that we exist.Back to top
We don’t accept health insurance because we want to avoid the inefficiency that negotiating with health insurance requires. Also, health insurance won’t pay for healthpiper’s innovative treatment model, including weekday and weekend instant messaging with your doctor, and free overnight shipping of our preferred medications. In fact, we realized that we could save so much time and money by cutting out health insurance that we could afford to include these services for free. And not only would we not have the aggravation of dealing with health insurance, neither would our patients. We think that many patients, after including the cost of co- pays, travel time, and unpredictable insurance denials, will actually find healthpiper a better deal than using their insurance elsewhere. And, for the increasing number of people with health insurance policies that have high annual deductibles, the issue of accepting insurance may be moot, as an entire year’s treatment with healthpiper may be less than your deductible. This means that, unless you had enough other medical expenses so the total exceeded your deductible, your health insurance might not kick in anyway.Back to top
Because we don’t accept insurance, we don’t share any information about your treatment with your insurance company. In fact, we normally never have any contact with them at all. In contrast, when you use health insurance, your doctor not only has to submit your diagnosis and treatment to your insurance company, your doctor has to make all your treatment records available to your insurer.Back to top
If you are prescribed a preferred medication by your doctor, you can choose to have it sent to your door for $10, including free overnight shipping. You can always choose to have the prescription sent to any local pharmacy you choose, and pay them for your medication. (If you have health insurance that covers your medication, you can use it at the local pharmacy, even though we don’t work with insurance ourselves. Sometimes even using insurance for your medication, however, the co-pay can be more than $10, and if you use insurance, the pharmacy will share the prescription information with your insurer). If you choose a local pharmacy, of course we won’t charge you the $10.Back to top
SSRI stands for “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.” The discovery of the SSRIs marked a major breakthrough in antidepressant treatment, because they have far fewer side effects and are much safer in overdose than the previously available antidepressants. They remain most clinicians’ first choice in treating either depression or anxiety.
The generic name for Prozac the first FDA approved medication for depression (formally known as Major Depressive Disorder) of a class known as “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors,” or SSRIs. The SSRIs marked a major breakthrough in antidepressant treatment because they have far fewer side effects and are much safer in an accidental or intentional overdose than the previously available antidepressants. There has been a very large amount of research done on fluoxetine, and the FDA has specifically approved it as safe and effective for the treatment Of Major Depressive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Bulimia Nervosa. It is the preferred SSRI in children and young adults-it’s the only one that the FDA has approved as safe and effective in this group and appears superior to other SSRIs in comparison studies for this population.
The generic name for Zoloft the second SSRIs FDA approved medication for depression. As with fluoxetine, there has been a very large amount of research done on sertraline, and the FDA has approved it as safe and effective for: Major Depressive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMS), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
A widely used SSRI this is the generic name for Celexa that is notable for having interactions with very few other medications. It is FDA approved for Major Depressive Disorder.
Yet another SSRI with the brand name Paxil, this medication is FDA approved for Major Depressive Disorder and Panic Disorder.
This medication is FDA approved as an antidepressant but is much more widely used for treating insomnia than for treating depression.Back to top