Doctor on Demand Review

Video chat easily with a psychologist or psychiatrist

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Doctor On Demand

Doctor On Demand

  Doctor On Demand

Doctor on Demand offers fast access to online psychologists and psychiatrists for anyone interested in live video sessions, but it’s more expensive than other companies, especially if you don’t have in-network insurance.

Pros
  • Accepts Insurance

  • Offers medication management

  • You can read the bios of all therapists on the website

  • You can choose your therapist or doctor

  • Live video chat

  • Appointments available quickly

  • Physical health services also provided

  • Service is for adults and children

Cons
  • No subscription plans are available

  • More expensive than other online therapy services, especially without insurance

  • Limited treatment options

  • Consultations are not free

  • No discounts available

  • No free trials are available

  • Lack of customer service

  • Video chat is the only communication option

  • Features can feel overwhelming

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Doctor On Demand

Doctor On Demand

  Doctor On Demand

Founded in 2013 by Dr. Phil, his son Jay McGraw, and their business partner Adam Jackson, Doctor on Demand is a telehealth company based out of San Francisco, CA. Designed to make all healthcare more accessible, Doctor on Demand not also offers fast, convenient appointments with primary care doctors, but also psychologists and psychiatrists. The company offers care to anyone, regardless of insurance coverage, but for some Americans, it is also a covered benefit by their health plan or employer. 

To fairly and thoroughly review Doctor on Demand against its competitors, we surveyed 100 current users from each of 33 different online therapy platforms to gain insight into their experiences. We also sent a questionnaire directly to each company to get more detailed information about their offerings. These surveys and questionnaires allowed us to directly compare offerings, quality of service, and client satisfaction across companies. We used the feedback from the client questionnaire to evaluate user satisfaction and perception of quality. 

Doctor on Demand did not respond to our questionnaire, despite multiple attempts to contact the company. This hindered our ability to gain as much insight into the company and its goals as we were able to with some of its competitors. We had to rely exclusively on user survey data and our own research in order to assess the company. Keep reading to see how Doctor on Demand stacks up against its online therapy competition. 

First Impressions and Sign-up Process

Arriving on the Doctor on Demand homepage, you’re greeted by a modern white-and-blue landing page with the words “Some waiting rooms are better,” below which the company will remind you that you can use their services from anywhere. Scrolling down the page, you’ll see an invitation to start a virtual visit and browse through their therapist— though if you click on either of those prompts, you’ll land on the same membership signup page. This is misleading (not to mention frustrating); you cannot get a sense of who the staff is without revealing some personal information about yourself in order to create an account. 

Doctor on Demand Homepage

Scrolling down further, you’ll find more information about the company’s “Total Virtual Care” philosophy, a prompt inviting you to see what conditions the company treats (this one does thankfully go to an informative page “What We Treat” page rather than a sign-up page), and some general information about its doctors. Towards the bottom of the page, you’ll see its media coverage and an invitation to download the app. The footer of the page includes information about the company, the press center, blog, FAQs, and contact page. 

Doctor on Demand FAQs

The FAQs page is by far the most informative page on the website—and it includes a convenient question search function at the top of the page to be user-friendly. The company blog (which is hosted on Medium) contains a variety of articles written by doctors or the company staff about a range of physical and mental health topics and it appears to be updated relatively frequently. 

Sixty-two percent of the users surveyed reported that they either had a very good or excellent experience signing up for Doctor on Demand.

You can sign up for Doctor on Demand online or after downloading the app (from iTunes or Google Play). First, you’ll need to provide your email address, date of birth, agree to the membership terms, and create a password. Once you’ve done that, you’ll set up your profile with your name, phone number, and gender; then you’ll be prompted to look up your insurance provider to see if it’s in-network. As a final step, you’ll select whether your employer is one of 400 that provides access to the service as a benefit, then you’ll have access to your member portal. 

Once you’re a member, you can browse through therapists' bios, schedule appointments with a mental health professional, or see a medical doctor. You’ll need to complete the assessment (which consists of two sets of questions and takes about five minutes to complete), before booking your first therapy appointment. You will also pay for each appointment at the time you book it. 

It’s worth noting that while you can book an appointment with a medical doctor as soon as you sign up, it generally takes longer to get an appointment with a mental health professional. According to the users we surveyed, 32% were able to get an appointment same day, 37% within a couple of days, and 24% within the same week. For 7%, it took longer than that. 

Cost 

Only 57% of the users we surveyed thought Doctor on Demand’s prices were very good or excellent—which makes it one of the companies with the lowest satisfaction rates on pricing, on par with Teen Counseling, 7 Cups of Tea, and Calmerry

This is likely because the out-of-pocket cost per session are more expensive than at most of the online therapy companies we reviewed:

  • Talk therapy sessions cost $129 for a 25-minute session and $179 for a 50-minute session.
  • Psychiatry sessions cost $299 for your first 45-minute session and $129 per 15-minute follow-up. 

Does Doctor on Demand Offer a Subscription?

You are billed per session you attend and there is no subscription.

Is There a Free Trial?

There is no free trial.

Does Doctor on Demand Accept Insurance?

Doctor on Demand accepts many different insurance plans with providers such as United Healthcare, Cigna, Aetna, and Humana. 

Eighty-two percent of the users we surveyed were able to obtain at least some financial reimbursement from their insurance company, reporting that they spent an average of $222.99 per month out-of-pocket for services. 

Can You Change or Cancel?

Since Doctor on Demand is not a subscription, you can stop using the service whenever you want. 

Are There Discounts Available?

There are no promotional codes for Doctor on Demand, but as noted above, many employers offer Doctor on Demand as a benefit to their employees. This means you might be able to use the service for much lower rates.

Ease of Use

Once you’ve created a Doctor on Demand account, you can browse through therapists' bios, take a mental health assessment, and schedule appointments to see doctors, psychiatrists, and therapists online or in the app. Seventy-eight percent of the users we surveyed thought the platform was very good or excellent in terms of user-friendliness.

Sessions at Doctor on Demand only take place via video or phone call. There is no messaging or live e-chat capability. Eighty-eight percent of surveyed users said video sessions were either very good or excellent; 83% said the same about phone sessions. 

You can pick your therapist at Doctor on Demand, but after a few sessions, if you're unhappy with your selection, you can easily switch directly in your portal. Simply browse through the bios of therapists accepting new clients and schedule an appointment. You can also call customer service for help. Seventy-five percent of users said this switching process was easy or very easy. 

Therapists' Qualifications and Quality of Care

Eighty-one percent of the users we surveyed said therapist qualifications played an important or very important role in their decision to sign up for Doctor on Demand.

Eighty-six percent of survey users said they found their therapists’ qualifications to be either very good or excellent.

All therapists are licensed in their respective state and have completed either their master’s degree or Ph.D. in their field. According to the hiring requirements posted on the website, all therapists must have graduated from accredited schools and therapists associated with the company must have three to five years of post-license field experience. Doctor on Demand also completes background checks prior to making employment offers. 

Doctor on Demand does not disclose how many therapists are on staff and it appears that the number of therapists available varies by state. As a result, it is possible that there could be fewer options available to you in certain states over others—we were only able to view the therapist options in the New York and Florida areas.

Still 99% of survey respondents said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the therapist options at Doctor on Demand. 

Much of the success gained in therapy depends on the relationship you have with the therapist and how comfortable you feel talking to them. Despite being able to choose their therapist, only 12% of users reported meeting with only one therapist. Instead, 42% said they met with two, 29% met with three, and 17% met with four or more. 

Because Doctor on Demand did not respond to our questionnaire, it is unclear how long professionals stay with the company or whether high turnover is an issue. 

Types of Therapy Offered

According to the Doctor on Demand website, its behavioral services address a range of mental health issues, including:

They also offer screenings to assess for depression, anxiety, and ADHD and because Doctor on Demand offers medical services as well, it has psychiatrists on staff to diagnose, treat, and prescribe medication for a variety of mental health conditions.

Because the therapists associated with the company have various training and styles of approaching mental health issues, each therapist will use their own set of skills and techniques. Some of the different techniques and services offered by the company include: 

Seventy-seven percent of the users we surveyed said the types of therapy offered by Doctor on Demand were excellent or very good. 

Privacy Policies

Doctor on Demand is HITRUST-certified and HIPAA-compliant. It is also NCQA and URAC accredited, and it has a relatively easy-to-read privacy policy on its website, which is written in language that's easy to understand and more readable (versus legalese) for users.

Like most online companies, Doctor on Demand collects certain personal information about its users through cookies and analytic tools. This includes your site activity, information about your device and browser, and your location. The company uses these details to make the site functional, to inform you of site updates, and to market its services to you. It may also disclose some of this personal information to its subsidiaries, affiliates, and associated organization, to contractors and business third parties, and in accordance with the law or any court orders.  

You can email the company and update or request that it deletes your information at any time, but the company may hold on to some information for a period of time as is required by law. The site says that it takes a number of physical, electronic, and managerial security methods to help protect your personal information–such as using encryption.

While Doctor on Demand protects your identity, data, and privacy from others, the services are not anonymous. The company knows who you are and makes efforts to verify your identity before you can use its services. 

If, during your treatment, your therapist decides you need more help than they can offer or a different type of therapy, the company will refer you to a local resource that is a better fit. They will also file a formal report with authorities if they believe you are a threat to yourself or others, as is required by law.

Overall Client Satisfaction

Seventy-five percent of surveyed respondents said that Doctor on Demand’s therapy services were either very good or excellent—but only 58% said the value for money of its services were very good or excellent. This is likely because of the company’s high out-of-pocket costs. 

Ninety-percent of users said they were very likely or likely to recommend Doctor on Demand to someone like them.

Doctor on Demand appears to have loyal users. Twenty-six percent had been using Doctor on Demand for less than six months and 29% had been using it for six months to a year, but 29% had been using it one to two years and 16% had been using it more than two years.  In addition, 88% said they were likely or very likely to be working with a therapist from Doctor on Demand a year from now.

Eighty-two percent of users who had used other online therapy services that Doctor on Demand was better or much better than their previous online service. 

Is Doctor on Demand Right For You?

Doctor on Demand is a good option if you have good health insurance and want an all-in-one platform for your medical and mental health needs. It’s convenient, easy-to-access, and can provide treatment for the whole family (including kids 13 and older with parental consent). 

However, if you do not have health insurance—or your health insurance is not in-network—you might be better off looking elsewhere because the out-of-pocket costs per session are higher than at most online therapy companies we reviewed. 

It also only offers sessions via video or phone, which may not work for everyone. If you have social anxiety, sensory processing differences, use augmentative and alternative communication, will be overheard, or simply prefer typing over talking, you might prefer to sign up for a service that offers text-based therapy options. 

Doctor on Demand is not designed to be an emergency service. People struggling with suicidal thoughts, who are in crisis, or need inpatient care are not suitable for this service. Those with psychotic disorders or a history of psychosis are also not a good fit. 

Doctor on Demand vs. MDLIVE

Doctor on Demand and MDLIVE are both large-scale telehealth companies that offer medical services as well as behavioral services, including talk therapy, psychiatry, and medication management. MDLIVE focuses on medical, talk therapy, psychiatry, and dermatology, while Doctor on Demand focuses on medical, talk therapy, psychiatry, and preventative care.

Both can be pricey if you pay out-of-pocket, but they accept multiple insurance companies so you could pay significantly less if your plan is in-network.

  • Doctor on Demand offers 25-minute sessions for $129 and 50-minute sessions for $179. Initial psychiatrist appointments cost $299 and 15-minute follow-ups are $129. 
  • MDLIVE sessions are all 45 minutes and cost $108. Initial psychiatric visits are $278, with follow-ups costing $108.

In terms of user satisfaction, Doctor on Demand has a slight edge. Of the users we surveyed, 75% of Doctor on Demand said the services were very good or excellent, beating the 67% at MDLIVE that said the same. Eighty-two percent of Doctor on Demand users who had tried other services said Doctor on Demand was a little or much better.

However, 94% of MDLIVE users said they were very likely or likely to recommend the company compared to 90% at Doctor on Demand. A comparable number—90% at MDLIVE and 88% at Doctor on Demand—said they were very likely or likely to still be seeing a therapist at the company in 12 months. 

Final Verdict

Doctor on Demand is a solid all-around telehealth option for talk therapy, psychiatry, medication management, and medical services—as long as you can either afford the out-of-pocket costs or have an in-network insurance plan. The company has quality professionals available and it’s convenient and easy to use. 

Methodology

Our methodology for evaluating online therapy companies is comprehensive and data-driven. As mentioned above, we sent questionnaires to 33 companies and surveyed 100 current users of each in order to gather qualitative and quantitative data about each company and its users’ experiences.

Specifically, we evaluated each company on website usability, sign-up process, subscription offerings, client privacy protections, and how easy it is to change therapists. We then looked at therapist qualifications, the types of therapy offered, quality of care, client-therapist communication options, session length, and the therapist assignment process. Finally, we reviewed cost, value for money, whether the companies take insurance, overall user satisfaction, and the likelihood clients would recommend them. 

Specs

  • Product Name Doctor On Demand
  • Year Founded 2013
  • Insurance Accepted? Yes
  • Price $129-$179 per session
  • HIPAA Compliant Yes
  • Platforms Virtual and audio only
  • Payment Options Insurance, major credit cards
  • App Available? (Y/N) Yes
Edited by
Simone Scully
simone-scully-verywell

Simone is the health associate editorial director for performance marketing at Verywell. She has over a decade of experience as a professional journalist covering mental health, chronic conditions, medicine, and science.

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