Prairie Health offers a premium psychiatry service, helping people with depression and anxiety get medication that works. (California only)
Prairie Health Overview
Prairie Health Overview
Depression and anxiety are both super serious mental health issues. In fact, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) states that about 50% of Americans will deal with some form of anxiety, depression, or a combination of both at some point in their lifetimes. And regardless of the severity (mild, severe, or somewhere in between), these mental health conditions can be debilitating. Common symptoms can include anything from lack of energy and interest to feelings of hopelessness and excessive worrying. Simply put, dealing with depression and anxiety sucks!
After doing some quick search engine research (Googling), we found that somewhere between 23 and 28% of people who deal with mental health issues actually seek out the help they need. This is utterly shocking to us, but one of the reasons people don’t get help is due to accessibility and affordability, which after some thought, makes total sense. However, thanks to telemedicine (online) companies like Prairie Health, there are now ways around getting the mental health care that people desperately need and can afford.
Prairie Health is an online doctor platform that focuses on anxiety and depression, connecting people to experienced, board-certified psychiatrists and expert Care Coordinators for personalized treatment options, medication management, and ongoing support.
One thing that sets Prairie apart from the competition; they use genetic testing to ensure each patient is treated uniquely and prescribed the right medication the first time (we’ll touch more on this a bit later). With Prairie, gone are the days of continuously trying out and switching antidepressants every three months to see which one works best for you.
If you live in California,* have been diagnosed, or are suffering from symptoms of anxiety or depression, and would like to have access to a board-certified psychiatrist that can provide pharmacotherapy; Prairie Health just might be the answer you’ve been searching for! Read on to learn more about the first genetic-backed online doctor and medication platform that can help you get back to feeling like yourself.
*This is the only state they can provide services in...for now
How Does Prairie Health Work?
Most telemedicine companies only set their patients up with generalists and nurse practitioners. Yes, they might be experts in those fields; however, only Prairie connects you with board-certified psychiatrists (who are medical doctors and are easily confused with psychologists) who specialize in diagnosing and treating depression and anxiety. They do this solely to treat each patient as not just a patient but as a person--that each person has a unique story behind their mental health issues, that each person should be diagnosed, not as a number, but in a thoughtful manner.
Prairie Health prides itself on many things, and like we briefly mentioned above, three things truly set them apart from other online doctor providers:
Get Effective Care
As one of the flashiest (and FREE) things that Prairie provides, genetic testing is used to reduce the guesswork of a person’s diagnosis, prescription, and ongoing care. They believe that when the wrong medication or dosage is prescribed, it can set your journey to healing back months. Without using your genetic makeup as part of your diagnosis, you could likely experience unwanted side effects had you not used this information. Cue Prairie’s saliva-based DNA test!
Offered to those who choose the PrecisionStart plan, this measurement-based care is used to track your progress alongside your doctor and Care Coordinator that’s proven by research to improve outcomes.
Psychiatry Made Easy
Navigating anxiety and depression can be debilitating. This is where Prairie comes in. As an all-in-one-stop shop, they make it convenient for you. From time to your first appointment to online visits to having your mediation delivered, Prairie aims to make managing your mental health an easy process.
Prairie Works with Experts
Did you know that most companies don’t work with psychiatrists? This is not the case at Prairie Health. They strongly believe that expertise matters when it comes to your mental health and will only work with licensed and board-certified medical professionals to deliver their patient’s top-notch mental healthcare.
Prairie Health also believes that everyone deserves quality healthcare, which goes far beyond just mental health. They care so much for each member that they go above and beyond, offering their members access to a network of doctors in other fields, such as Gynecologists, PCPs, endocrinologists, and therapists, to ensure members get the best overall healthcare.
How To Get Started With Prairie Health
Prairie has recently shifted the way they provide care to their patients, and instead of putting all patients into one box, there are now two ways to get started. One is a bit quicker if you know what you’re looking for, and the other takes a bit more time, as it’s best suited for people that have a troubled past with medication or mental healthcare in general.
The QuickStart option is best for patients that would like to start their care right away, are seeking mental healthcare for the first time, or are typically not sensitive to medication. This option doesn’t include genetic testing to determine your treatment plan.
How the QuickStart choice works is as follows:
Schedule an appointment with a board-certified psychiatrist - You will be asked to complete a short online quiz for your doctor to personalize the care you receive. A deposit of $50 will be charged to your credit card to hold the appointment. It will be deducted from your consultation visit fee.
Get a proper diagnosis and personalized prescription - During your initial consult, you will get a Gold Standard, full-length visit where you will work with your doctor to create a personal treatment plan. During your visit, you will discuss your symptoms, medical history, including any medications you’re currently taking or have taken in the past. If medication is the right treatment for you, your doctor will provide you with a prescription after your visit.
The subsequent steps below are the same across both the QuickStart and PrecisionStart plans.
Your prescription will then be delivered straight to your doorstep in discreet packaging because no one wants their business out there for everyone to see.
Schedule follow-up visits online - Continue with your dedicated provider online and get follow-up visits when you feel it’s needed. If not, you will still receive your medications every month. If you have questions, your Care Coordinator is just one text away.
Benefit from continuous support - Your care team is constantly monitoring your care through evidence-based evaluations that they will send you. Prairie is so dedicated to your overall wellbeing that they want you to feel rest assured that someone always has your back.
Where Prarie differs from the rest is with their genetic testing to determine the right course of action the first time. The PrecisionStart plan takes a bit more time and energy, but if you’re sensitive to medications, have tried mental health medications without success, or are a female or person of color, this could be the best option for you.
How the PrecisionStart plan works is as follows:
Schedule an appointment with a board-certified psychiatrist - You will be asked to complete a short online quiz for your doctor to personalize the care you receive. A deposit of $50 will be charged to your credit card to hold the appointment. It will be deducted from your consultation visit fee. Please note that this option differs from the QuickStart plan as it requires at least three weeks to schedule an actual appointment and receive your treatment plan. The timing is due to giving their lab and your doctor ample time to run your genetic test and analyze your results.
Receive a genetic testing kit and send back your saliva sample - Once they’re confirmed your appointment, Prairie will send you an at-home genetic testing kit. Once you completed it, be sure to send it back within three days to ensure the report is ready for your scheduled appointment.
Get a proper diagnosis and DNA-based prescription - During your appointment, your doctor will go through your genetics report and discuss your treatment goals and plan options with you to create a personalized treatment plan. And the coolest part here is that your doctor can reduce the possibility of side effects and increase the probability of helping you feel better faster based on your genetics.
The next steps are the same as the QuickStart plans steps 3-6. Please see above in the QuickStart section or refer to the image below.
Where Does Prairie Health Operate?
Prairie currently operates in California only. BUT, (and this is big) if you live in another state, keep Prairie in the back of your mind. They have plans in place to expand into other markets throughout 2021 and into 2022.
What Conditions Does Prairie Health Treat?
Prairie board-certified psychiatrists and Care Coordinators specialize in a variety of psychiatric problems (they collectively offer decades of experience) and treat patients with over a dozen conditions, including:
Major depressive disorder
Acute stress disorder
General anxiety disorder
It is important to mention that Prairie does not provide therapy; they provide personalized treatment plans for those suffering from the above mental health conditions. Yes, you will work with a psychiatrist during your intake and follow-up appointments, but if you're looking for an online therapist, it is best to check out our pre-vetted and reviewed list of great online therapists.
Please keep in mind that Prairie is always more than happy to connect you with another doctor in one of their trusted medical networks. Even if Prairie can’t help you, they still want you to get the best help possible.
What Medications Does Prairie Health Prescribe?
If medication is the right course of treatment, Prairie offers a wide range of FDA-approved, non-controlled medications, including SSRIs, NDRIs, SNRIs, and Alpha-Agonists. Commonly prescribed medications include:
Bupropion (generic Wellbutrin)
Citalopram (generic Celexa)
Duloxetine (generic Cymbalta)
Escitalopram (generic Lexapro)
Fluoxetine (generic Prozac
Paroxetine (generic Paxil)
Sertraline (generic Zoloft)
Venlafaxine (generic Effexor)
Is Prairie Health Legit?
Prairie was founded by four Stanford graduates who have seen the adverse effects of inefficient medication management time and time again. After being inspired by their own experiences navigating the mental healthcare system for themselves and their loved ones, they decided to mitigate the system’s painful deficiencies, giving people a more affordable way to access excellent care. Their mission is to "leverage research and technology to empower everyone to achieve better mental health." Their understanding and knowledge of combining mental health with genetics give Prairie the upper hand, allowing them to share their knowledge of how genetics can impact a person’s response to certain medications.
They work directly with one pharmacy partner, cutting out the Rx middleman, and send all prescriptions safely and discreetly, straight to your front door.
Prairie will never sell or distribute your information and follow strict HIPPA regulations to keep you and your private information, well, private.
How Much Does Prairie Health Cost?
Prairie offers its members incredibly transparent and affordable care to treat anxiety and depression. There will never be any hidden fees or surprise bills.
Online Psychiatrist Appointment (First Visit): $295
50 Minute, Gold Standard, a full-length intake appointment
Follow-up Appointment: $160
25 Minute subsequent visit
Medication Delivery: $15/month
Delivery is optional. You can choose to pick it up at your local pharmacy; however, you may end up paying more.
Consultation with a Care Coordinator: FREE
Schedule a 15-minute call to talk about what your care journey could look like.
Prairie Health does not currently take insurance; however, they do accept FSA/HSA cards, which you may use as payment when booking an appointment. If you need to submit a receipt, they will provide you with an itemized receipt.
What Do We Think of Prairie Health?
Bottom line - Prairie Health is the bomb! If you live anywhere in California, you would be doing yourself a disservice by not at the very least checking them out online. Once you get a feel for how they’re changing the scope of mental health and how much they actually care for the wellbeing of the human race, you’ll know they’re an excellent fit for you.
We had the privilege of chatting with one of the founders, and after the scheduled 15 minutes were up, we wanted to learn more! The way these folks see mental health and the way they focus on quality and effective care is incredible and infectious -- If only there were more people in the world like them.
If you’re suffering from anxiety and depression, live in California, and want to feel like you’re being heard and taken care of, sign up with Prairie Health now. You won’t be disappointed.
If you are in emotional distress or thinking about harming yourself at any point, please use these resources:
Visit: If you are having a medical or mental health emergency, call 911 or go to your local emergency room
Text: The Crisis Text Line provides free, 24-hour, confidential help. Text ‘HOME’ to 741-741 to connect with a counselor immediately.
Call: You can call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK to talk with a live counselor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You are not alone.