Traditionally providing treatments for Covid-19, telehealth service Dr. B announced Thursday that it is adding treatments for dermatology, sexual health, reproductive health and primary care.
New York City-based Dr. B, founded in 2021, began as an online service that matched people with unused Covid-19 vaccines. It eventually grew to provide access to Covid-19 treatments like Paxlovid and molnupiravir. 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 for patients regardless of their financial situation. Dr. B offers its services for free to those considered eligible based on the federal poverty line, which takes into account factors like monthly income and household size.
Expanding to treatments beyond Covid-19 was always part of the company’s plan, said Cyrus Massoumi, founder and CEO of Dr. B.
“Access to these sorts of treatments have not been available for the masses and that’s what we’re changing,” he said in an interview.
Patients begin with a virtual health assessment, pay the consultation fee (if they’re ineligible for the no-cost option) and select their pharmacy of choice, which could be online or in-person. A medical provider then reviews the assessment, and if determined appropriate, sends a prescription to the patient’s chosen pharmacy.
The $15 fee covers the consultation, but not the treatments. Massoumi noted, however, that the $15 fee is less than most insurance copays. Dr. B is able to provide its services for such a low cost (or no cost) by relying on word-of-mouth rather than paying for advertisements, he said.
Massoumi previously founded Zocdoc, a virtual service that helps patients schedule in-person or telemedicine appointments. He started the company after having a difficult time accessing care himself for a ruptured eardrum. While Zocdoc solved some problems in healthcare, it didn’t fix everything, leading Massoumi to create Dr. B.
“[Zocdoc] did a great job of expanding access to care for those who could afford it,” he said. “How about for those who could not? … With Dr. B, that’s what we’ve been focused on for the past year and a half, which is how can we improve access to care not just for those who can afford it, but for everyone?”
Looking forward, Dr. B plans to continue adding treatments to its platform, as well as expand to additional states, Massoumi said.
“I want to be live in as many places in the country as we can be … It’s important to me that everyone in America can get access to the platform,” he said.
Photo: elenabs, Getty Images