YoDerm: Fast Access to Dermatologists, Acne Prescriptions in 24 Hours
YoDerm gets patients fast acne prescriptions in less than 24 hours. Simply choose a doctor through the YoDerm online portal, tell them any relevant medical history, upload photos of your skin, and within 24 hours, you will receive your personalized treatment plan and your prescriptions will be sent to your local pharmacy.
The Company was founded by two friends, Ben Holber and Ryan Hambley. Ben had a traditional experience getting a prescription for acne medication when he was younger. “I searched for a dermatologist and called her office, waited for a month for an appointment, missed class to drive to the office then sat in the waiting room for 20 minutes. When she finally saw me, she took 5 seconds to look at me, wrote me a prescription and left the room,” Ben reflects. Ryan, on the other hand had a different experience. His father, a dermatologist, could always give him the fastest treatment, on-demand answers to any questions he had, and recommended solutions to any issues he faced. “Ryan and I came together many years later to found YoDerm. By bringing the dermatology consultation online, now everyone can get the comprehensive and expert care necessary to achieve and keep a clear complexion.” Ben delves a little deeper to tell us how YoDerm is changing how patients interact with their doctors.
What are the current inefficiencies in the patient-doctor interaction in dermatology?
Ben: In the U.S., the average wait-time to see a dermatologist is five weeks. When combined with the time you have to take off work or miss school, commute to the office and then sit in the waiting room, it is a serious hassle to see a dermatologist. Particularly for the 40% of the nation that live in counties underserved by dermatologists and have to drive miles to the closest office. Even when individuals are in close proximity to a dermatologist’s office, other factors limit patients from obtaining the care they need including cost, embarrassment, and information.
YoDerm changes all this by bringing the process online. Patients can submit a consultation without intruding on their schedule and receive a prescription treatment plan within 24 hours. The $59 consultation is competitive to most co-pays and a fraction of out-of-pocket costs. The dermatologists also enjoy a number of benefits by treating patients on YoDerm. YoDerm allows physicians to treat patients on their own time and eliminates the cost of rent, office staff, and their other fixed costs. Plus, in an online setting, the physician can look over a patient’s previous photos to see how he/she has progressed over time. For a visual condition, like acne, this ability is advantageous to in-person care. Here’s a post I put together that outlines the many advantages online consults have to office visits for both parties.
Which states are you live with?
Ben: YoDerm currently operates in California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas and plans to be nationwide in the next 3-4 months. In order to treat a patient in Nevada, the physician must be licensed to practice medicine in Nevada, no matter where the MD resides. The same goes for every other state. This means our dermatologist network must recruit a physician licensed in each state, or help our current physicians become licensed in additional states. We’re executing each of these strategies concurrently and are on-boarding dermatologists in Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington.
Tell us about the pricing.
Ben: We do not accept insurance for a number of reasons. First and foremost, many carriers will not cover teledermatology consultations at this point. Even if we sought reimbursement from the payer, we would be looking at a fraction of the consultation fee and a long reimbursement cycle. This might allow some people to pay slightly less than the $59 fee, but we believe our price is very competitive with most co-pays. Especially when you consider so many modern plans have high deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.
You mentioned that in the current system, medications can be expensive. Is there a fix here?
Ben: One area we are very excited to innovate within is systematically finding the most affordable medication for patients. There are many factors that are involved with the price patients pay, including their insurance coverage, pharmacy choice, brand vs. generic, etc. We want to transform the way that patients buy their medication and interact with their physician in order to get the most effective treatment at the lowest price.