Why We Like Them
Virtuwell is an online symptom treatment platform that has helped reduce healthcare costs for hundreds of thousands of users. Patients can log onto the portal and talk to a nurse practitioner or doctor, diagnose symptoms, and get a treatment plan for appropriate care in under an hour — and without leaving the house. The platform boasts low wait times, and most patients can receive full treatment plans in under an hour.
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Virtuwell Company Overview
This medical treatment website hires certified nurse practitioners to diagnose most patients’ symptoms to help keep costs down. According to Virtuwell, the company has saved $148 (on average) for each treatment; it has diagnosed and treated more than half a million patients and has saved users on average $57 million total in healthcare costs.
Striving to reinvent the insurance healthcare system created in the 1950s, founders Kevin Palattao and Kris Johnson created a new online healthcare platform in 2010 to replace the outdated model. Both the children of family physicians, Kris and Kevin decided to recreate the modern doctor’s visit by hiring nurse practitioners with friendly bedside manners and a focus on customer service.
Virtuhealth’s first incarnation was only available to Minnesota residents but is now available to customers in 13 states.
Is Virtuwell Right For You?
Virtuwell offers simple pricing and a high level of attention and care. Unlike most doctors, Virtuwell doesn’t charge for an appointment if your symptoms can’t be treated through the platform. This online doctor is perfect for anyone who wants:
- Easy-to-follow treatment plans
- Free follow-up care
- Doctor or nurse availability 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- Health care on the go
- Little-to-no wait to see a doctor
- Online appointment scheduling
- Treatment within an hour
- Prescriptions sent right to their pharmacy
- Doctors and nurse practitioners that follow rigorous clinical protocols
You don’t need a smartphone, either. You can call, message, or video chat — whatever works best.
Is Virtuwell Credible?
Founder Kevin Palattao has over two decades of experience in the healthcare industry.
All doctors and certified nurse practitioners are U.S. state medical board-certified and create custom treatment plans for each patient. The medical team at Virtuwell has over 300 collective years of experience in medicine.
Doctors specialize in:
- General care
- Family medicine
- Women’s health
Most visits to a doctor’s office can be handled by certified nurse practitioners. These practitioners:
- Diagnose and treat symptoms
- Prescribe medications
- Offer a holistic approach to medicine
- Hold a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in nursing
- Possess clinical knowledge
- Demonstrate competency through state medical board examinations
- Collaborate with primary care physicians, specialists, and lab experts
- Diagnose common illnesses on Virtuwell
- Determine the right prescription
- Offer convenient, high-quality care
- Assess symptoms
- Determine appropriate care
- Screen patients
- Refer patients to specialists and healthcare providers
- Offer nutritional advice
- Assess condition severity
- Educate users on health risks, lifestyle choices, and preventative care
Virtuwell keeps all patient information secure within the platform. All information is encrypted to the highest security standards and all passwords are also encrypted.
The platform stores credit card info on a secure server (separate from your personal information).
The site uses Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) and is Norton Secured; all information is encrypted and cannot be seen or stolen by hackers or intruders.
Of course, virtuwell doesn’t sell, share, or exchange any information. If you want your info shared with your other doctors, you need to provide written consent to do so.
All appointments are backed by a customer satisfaction guarantee.
Healthcare Conditions Treated by Virtuwell
Virtuwell treats a long list of conditions. Almost anything that can be diagnosed and treated through an online health care provider can be treated by Virtuwell doctors. Just some of the health care conditions treated by doctors and nurses include:
- Acne (patients ages 12 and older)
- Angular cheilitis
- Athlete's foot
- Bacterial vaginosis (patients ages 26 and older)
- Bed bugs
- Birth control (patients ages 18 to 39)
- Bladder infection (UTI)
- Breast infection (mastitis)
- Canker sore
- Chronic and preventive care
- Clogged duct
- Cold sores
- Common colds
- Common warts
- Cuts or scrapes
- Deer tick bites
- Diaper rashes
- Ear infections (patients ages 5 and older)
- Emergency contraception (patients ages 18 and older)
- Eye and ear problems
- First-degree burns
- Flu (seasonal)
- Genital herpes
- Hand foot and mouth disease
- Ingrown nails
- Insect bites
- Jock itch
- Keratosis pilaris
- Kids’ health
- Nail infections
- Perioral dermatitis
- Pet allergies
- Pink eye
- Pityriasis rosea
- Plantar warts
- Poison ivy
- Poison oak
- Seasonal allergies
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Second-degree burn
- Sexual health
- Sinus, cough, and allergy
- Sinus infections
- Skin rashes
- Swimmer's ear (patients ages 5 and older)
- Tinea versicolor
- Women's health conditions
- Yeast infections
COVID-19 Testing and Care
Virtuwell has partnered up with HealthPartners and Park Nicollet clinics to offer drive-up COVID-19 testing in Minnesota. This service is offered on an as-needed basis with the following terms of service:
- By appointment only
- Covered by most insurance
- Drive-up testing only
- Expert medical advice
- Online test results and next steps
- Personalized treatment plan
- Testing, personalized care, and free follow-up
- Thorough clinical assessment
Anyone who uses Virtuwell who is not a Minnesota resident is encouraged to find testing facilities in their state or community. The state health department websites are usually a great resource for finding local testing facilities.
How Does Virtuwell Work?
Signing up for Virtuwell is extremely easy. All it takes is three simple steps, and you’re on the road to recovery! To start your online visit, simply:
- Fill out a short questionnaire regarding health history, symptoms, medications, and allergies to start your ‘treated episodes’.
- Get a diagnosis from nurse practitioners and doctors (humans, not bots!); get your treatment plan and prescription sent right to your pharmacy; if you don’t need a prescription, your provider will recommend over-the-counter medications and future prevention tips as well as any subsequent care.
- Pay for your appointment by credit card and/or insurance; Virtuwell submits all insurance claims for you.
The best part? Your relationship with Virtuwell doesn’t end there. You’ll get a free follow-up and additional adjustments to your plan — all covered under your original fee. You can message through the app or call the toll-free number.
Access your electronic health record (or treated episodes as Virtuhealth calls them) right through the app, and share it with your other doctors and/or specialists.
Virtuwell Does NOT treat Some Conditions
This telemedicine provider treats more conditions than we knew existed! (Just kidding.) The list of treatable conditions might be longer than a kid’s birthday wish list, but sadly Virtuwell isn’t for every health condition, including:
- Emergencies (heart attack, stroke, etc.)
- Broken bones
- Annual physicals
- Legally-mandated doctor’s notes
- Mental health care
- Controlled substances prescriptions
Some conditions require traditional care settings; if your doctor or nurse practitioner can’t treat your symptoms, you won’t be charged for the visit.
We recommend heading to the website or app to get a consultation if you’re not sure if your symptoms can be treated. If you’re experiencing an emergency, Virtuwell recommends calling 911 or heading directly for the nearest emergency room, as doctors on the platform cannot treat emergencies.
While nurse practitioners on the platform do treat minors, some conditions cannot be treated in younger patients. Virtuwell recommends contacting a family practitioner or primary care physician for such treatments (though the consultation with Virtuwell is free, so it’s always best to check with a nurse practitioner on the platform first.
Even if the doctors and nurses can’t treat a condition, they might be able to offer advice on where to turn for appropriate care.
Pricing: How Much Does Virtuwell Cost?
One of our favorite parts about this platform is its no-nonsense pricing. The cost for an online visit is $49.
That fee includes follow-up communication and any additional related questions (consultations are always free!). The company also has a satisfaction guarantee. If doctors or nurses can’t treat you, you don’t pay a penny.
Pay by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Debit) or with an insurance plan or HSA.
Virtuwell also bills most health insurance companies — and submits your claim for you. Some of the insurance companies that work with Virtuwell include:
- Americas PPO
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative
- McLaren Health Plan Community
- Olmsted County
- Preferred One
- UCare Choices
- United Healthcare
What Do We Think About Virtuwell?
Virtuwell has done a fantastic job of disrupting the outdated healthcare industry methods and creating a platform that is easy to use and inexpensive. The use of certified nurse practitioners lowers the costs of traditional medical care and offers complete transparency for patients and users.
We love the simple pricing that Virtuwell offers (one price point for everyone!) and that doctors treat such a long list of conditions. The only thing we wish we could get from this telehealth platform is — well, more of it. We can’t wait for developers to add more conditions to the list of treatments and add a mental health component, too.
Since Virtuwell takes most insurance plans, this platform is also ideal for users who have access to traditional healthcare settings but simply want to get symptoms diagnosed online and without long wait times.
If you’re experiencing unusual symptoms and want to chat with a doctor and/or certified nurse practitioner for one low fee, we recommend heading over to Virtuwell to get a health treatment plan in under an hour.