Traditionally providing treatment for Covid-19, the telehealth service Dr. B announced Thursday, it adds dermatology, sexual health, reproductive health and primary care.
Based in New York Dr. B, founded in 2021, started as an online service that found people with unused Covid-19 vaccines. It eventually grew to provide access to Covid-19 treatments such as Paxlovid and fastidiousr. The startup, available in 41 states, now offers 19 treatments, including for hair loss, eczema, birth control and more.
While most patients pay a $15 consultation fee, the company aims to provide care to patients regardless of their financial situation. Dr. B offers its services free of charge to those deemed eligible based on the federal poverty line, which takes into account factors such as monthly income and household size.
Expanding into treatments beyond Covid-19 has always been part of the company’s plan, said Cyrus Massumi, founder and CEO of Dr. B.
“Access to these types of treatments has not been available to the masses, and that’s what we’re changing,” he said in an interview.
Patients start with a virtual health assessment, pay the consultation fee (if they don’t qualify for the free option) and choose a pharmacy of their choice, which can be online or in person. The healthcare professional then reviews the assessment and, if deemed appropriate, sends a prescription to the patient’s pharmacy of choice.
The $15 fee covers the consultation but not the treatment. Massumi noted, however, that the $15 fee is less than most insurance copays. Dr. B is able to provide his services at such a low cost (or no cost) by relying on word of mouth rather than paying for advertisements, he said.
Massoumi founded before that Zokdok, a virtual service that helps patients schedule in-person or telemedicine appointments. He started the company after struggling to access care for a ruptured eardrum himself. Although Zocdoc solved some problems in healthcare, it did not fix everything, leading Massoumi to create Dr. B.
“[Zocdoc] has done a great job of expanding access to care for those who can afford it,” he said. “What about those who couldn’t? … With Dr. B, that’s what we’ve been focusing on for the last year and a half, which is how can we improve access to care not just for those who can afford it, but for everyone?”
In the future Dr. B plans to continue adding treatments to its platform as well as expand to additional countries, Massumi said.
“I want to live in as many places in the country as possible … It’s important to me that everyone in America can access the platform,” he said.
Photo: elenabs, Getty Images