Today will be a comparison of the venues where you can get diagnosed and treated. We will discuss the costs of the medications used next week. First things first, I am a physician, not an accountant. So the numbers may be somewhat imprecise. Second, the costs you hear about in this video do not include the medications, except as defined below.
There are four basic venues where you can get diagnosed and treated and to make a long story short I will give you the synopsis upfront.
Costs & Pricing
For primary care physician or clinician based medical specialists without testosterone the annual cost would vary from 260 to $520 in the first year and from 160 to $320 in subsequent years. But if the injections are done at their clinics weekly, then you have to add $920 in the first year and $960 and subsequent years for that.
For facility-based men’s health clinics without testosterones or add-ons, it would be $99 for diagnosis and about 1040 to $2,080 annually plus any laboratory copays and follow-up appointments. For internet based subscription companies after the $99 diagnostic fee, it would be about $1,440 to $1,800 annually, including testosterone, but with more limited therapy choices, a longer time to find the best dose and less frequent follow-up at Helios Telemedicine for Men without testosterone it would be about $1084 in year one and $556 in subsequent years.
Why Choose Helios Telemedicine vs. Your PCP?
I am a great mix of competitive price, expertise throughout the process, available treatment options, time efficiency, privacy, and convenience, and here’s why. You can go to your primary care physician to get the process started and either be treated there or referred to a specialist. Prescriptions are usually sent to the pharmacy but some clinics may dispense or inject on site. Remember that your PCP and clinic-based specialist are limited in the amount of time that they are allotted to give to each patient and understand that you may be seen by physician extenders rather than by physicians.
Primary care physicians and many specialists prescribe a wide variety of therapeutic options. They may prescribe injections to be done at home or in the clinic. So if we assume that it takes five post evaluation visits with labs to hone in on your best dose, and you see your primary care physician or specialist every six weeks for this and then every three months thereafter with labs at every visit and that your copays are 20 to $40 for each appointment and 20 to $40 for each lab, that would be six visits and seven labs for 260 to $520 in the first year. And then four of each for 160 to $320 in subsequent years.
Plus if you are going into the clinic for injections you will have to pay a $20 injection only copay. So you can add 46 more copays in year one for $920 and 48 in subsequent years for $960.
Brick & Mortar Low T Clinics
There are a lot of brick and mortar clinics out there that specifically treat low testosterone. They’re usually staffed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants under physician supervision. They usually have some testing facilities onsite, but some of the labs will have to go to clinical laboratories and you may see a bill or copay for them. They’re great options for many but these institutions will likely guide you into injection options so that you are obligated to go to the clinic on a weekly basis.
They may also try selling you various add-on services or supplements that they offer for sale. The clinic charge in the first year will be $99 for the evaluation then 20 to $40 per week for the clinic visit copays which will come to $1,119 to $2,139 plus any laboratory fees or copays. Medication and add-on fees will be added.
Internet-Based Low T Companies
There are internet based companies that have subscription plans for men’s healthcare, like Helios. They’re telemedicine based so there is no time spent traveling to and from your clinician paying for parking or sitting in a waiting room. They will send you a test kit, send you to a lab, or have someone come to draw your blood.
You will fill in a questionnaire online. The lab results and history information will then be assessed by a staff member and you will be told to schedule an appointment with a company clinician if the data suggests that you may be a candidate. It is only after that that you get a 15 to 30 minute appointment with a clinician.
You may be charged a premium to see a physician instead of a nurse practitioner or physician assistant and there is no guarantee that you will see the same person each time. Follow up visits and labs are usually every three months until the treatment regimen is stabilized, and then every six months thereafter to assure that everything is going well. The subscriptions include clinician visits, labs, and the lower cost testosterone treatment options.
These companies are cash based, but will send you receipts for you to submit to your insurance plan. They usually have an initial $99 fee for diagnosis and then subscription fees of 120 to $150 per month. So the basic subscription price after diagnosis is $1,440 to $1,800 per year. These subscription costs remain the same in subsequent years even though the appointments become less frequent, there’s less work for them to do, and there are fewer labs for them to pay for. These plans will not include the supplemental medications such as HCG or anastrozole or the added cost of testosterone over a certain dose.
If you were sent to a laboratory for testing you may also see a copay from the lab. They also sell supplement packages, which can run from about 40 to over a hundred dollars per month, or 480 to over $1,200 per year. Plus you will likely not get options for such testosterone media as nasal gels, pellets, orally dissolving or orally ingested tablets as they’re too expensive for subscription plans to make a profit.
What About Helios Telemedicine, Specifically?
Helios Telemedicine for Men is different as it is a hybrid between the clinical specialist and the telemedicine company. I am telemedicine based, so there’s no inconvenience or cost of travel to see me. I do not take insurance, but will provide receipts for submission. You make an appointment to see me online, register in my patient portal, complete some medical history and health surveys, and see me, not a clinician staff member or physician extender.
I send you to the clinical lab of your choice to get your testing done so I know that the results are reliable and timely. The lab will bill your insurance company so you should only pay a deductible or a copay. I send your prescriptions to the pharmacy and you administer your medications at home so there are no weekly visits or copays. I do not sell supplement packages or other add-ons as you can likely get these things elsewhere for less.
I just charge for my clinic appointment time so there is no financial incentive besides our visits. I will have you follow up with me about every six weeks until we find the best regimen as quickly as is practical. After we zero in on your best dosage, the visits in the labs will occur less frequently so your costs for therapy will taper down after the first four to eight months.
I will follow you every three months at that point to provide careful oversight. I charge $249 for the initial evaluation but you get 45 minutes of time with me rather than 15 to 30 minutes with a possibly random clinician.
It’s $99 per follow-up visit after that. So you would be paying me $595 in the first year of followups and $396 in subsequent years. Assuming a $40 copay for the cost of the lab studies, it would run $240 in year one and $160 in subsequent years. So my annual cost estimate without medications is $1084 in year one and $556 in subsequent years.
So when you consider the cost and convenience factors of the various venues, I’m sure that you’ll agree that I can be proud and excited with what I have created at Helios Telemedicine for Men. We will finish this discussion with an overview of the medication costs next week.