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Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about telemedicine, virtual primary care and virtual mental health.



Telemedicine offers patients quick and convenient access to care via phone or video for urgent care needs. Plus, it is an affordable option for treatment of common issues like sinus infections, rashes and more. Avoiding in-person visits saves patients travel and wait times and keeps them out of germy waiting rooms.  

First Stop Health members can talk to a doctor 24/7 within 6 minutes (on average). Using our mobile app, website or with a phone call, patients avoid waiting rooms and paperwork — and get the quality, convenient care they deserve. To learn more about our telemedicine solution, download our overview.  

Telemedicine is a convenient way to visit a doctor virtually for urgent care needs. At First Stop Health, our members can talk to a doctor 24/7 and within 6 minutes (on average). The steps are easy: 

  1. Request a visit via app, website or phone
  2. Wait for the doctor to give a call back 
  3. Describe your symptoms so the doctor can diagnose your issue and provide a treatment plan  

For more information, you can read these steps to see how a visit is requested, performed and followed up. 

Telemedicine treats non-emergency, common issues like sinus infections, sore throats, earaches, dermatological concerns and more. Doctors can also advise on physical problems and answer medical questions. 

Telemedicine benefits members, employers and even benefits consultants in many ways. Read more about how telemedicine healthcare is changing the medical world. 

Insurance companies do offer telemedicine, however, wait times are often long and visits can be rushed. For patients, carrier-embedded telemedicine requires registration and payment. For employers, telemedicine visits are tied to the medical plan and impact claims like other healthcare costs. 

First Stop Health supports employers by guaranteeing high utilization and savings, offering employee engagement initiatives and providing detailed monthly reporting. For employees, we offer little-to-no consult fee, no pre-registration, access within 6 minutes (on average) to see a doctor and care that people love®. And for employers, there are no claims to impact healthcare costs. See here for specific statistics on how our Telemedicine differs from carrier-embedded telemedicine. 

At First Stop Health, we are proud to provide care that people love®. We have +77 patient and +89 client Net Promoter Scores (NPS). See the results of our Client Survey here.  

First Stop Health doctors are board-certified, licensed and US-based physicians who are readily available to treat members in all 50 states. They also work with First Stop Health employees to deliver accurate medical information to all members. You can meet the doctors here to find out more about their personal lives and journeys. 

Yes! First Stop Health can customize plans with consult fees. Employees at the same company can have different consult fees based on their High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs). This comparison shows the difference in utilization, ROI and savings for implementing a consult fee versus not implementing one. 

First Stop Health supports a variety of industries and a range of group sizes. From manufacturing and professional services to healthcare and education, we can support employees with our Telemedicine, Virtual Primary Care and Virtual Mental Health solutions. Learn more about the utilization, ROI and savings for these industries. 

In today’s workforce, there are many barriers to getting care. Whether it’s avoiding missed workdays, inconvenience or high costs, employees are less likely to seek care – ultimately affecting their own and their employer’s productivity. Telemedicine is a great resource to support employees’ mental and physical health. To learn more about how telemedicine can support employee productivity, see here 

Patients, doctors and employers alike are planning to maintain and even increase usage of telemedicine in 2022 and the future. Because telemedicine is convenient, cost-effective and expands access equity, studies reveal that it’s here to stay.  See the research to learn more. 

Telemedicine allows employees to access a licensed, board-certified doctor remotely via phone or video. When executed correctly, telemedicine delivers healthcare savings and high employee satisfaction. It can also be useful in employee retention and the hiring process!  

Learn more about the primary benefits to telemedicine, and why every employer should offer it.

Acne is the most common skin condition in the U.S., affecting 40 to 50 million Americans. Most are teens and young adults, but acne can occur at any age. 

Clearing acne usually improves a person’s self-esteem, helping them feel happier and more confident. And getting treatment is easy with telemedicine. Here’s how it works.

Healthcare costs are increasing and severe chronic disease diagnoses are becoming more prevalent, burdening both employers and employees. As a result of the pandemic, digital-first care is now a preferred healthcare option for many. With its convenience, easy access and low-cost, patients are turning to telemedicine and other virtual care.

Here are a few need-to-know stats about the state of healthcare and virtual care in the U.S. 

Virtual Primary Care

Virtual primary consists of three components:

  • Urgent care
  • Chronic care
  • Preventive care.

With 24/7 access to urgent care, elimination of frequent in-person visits for chronic care and coordination of preventive screenings and referrals, virtual primary care provides convenient and affordable care that patients would otherwise forego. Learn more about virtual primary care here.  

Virtual primary care solutions offer urgent sick visits, scheduled chronic condition visits, and preventive care for whole-person health guidance all via phone or video. Employers can provide virtual primary care to employees and their dependents for easy, affordable access to care. Learn more about the three components of virtual primary care and how employers can utilize this solution here. 

Yes, virtual primary care is an innovative solution offered by some employer-sponsored health plans. However, virtual primary care from a health insurance company does come with problemslow patient trust, provider conflict of interest and loss of PCP when health plans change are just a few.

To learn more, read our “5 Warning Signs for Virtual Primary Care from an Insurance Company” blog.

Yes, virtual primary care is a convenient, affordable solution for the treatment of diabetes. By providing access to collaborative, organized and well-tracked screenings, virtual primary care can provide effective, high-quality care for patients with diabetes. Read more about how virtual primary care can better diabetes treatment here or watch the video.  

Yes, virtual primary care can help facilitate weight loss with consistent counseling from a PCP. By removing barriers like stigmatization, frequent visits and high costs, virtual primary care is a convenient solution that brings the patient treatment in a comfortable setting. To learn more about virtual primary care for the treatment of obesity, see here.  

Yes, virtual primary care expands access and even makes it easier to see a doctor. By providing more frequent, longer visits, virtual primary care keeps patients engaged in their healthcare journey with at-home tests or doctor referrals for lab work. Learn more about how virtual primary care can treat high blood pressure here.  

Today, about 1 in 2 adults suffer from a musculoskeletal (MSK) condition in the U.S., accounting for 1/6 of healthcare spending for employers. Virtual primary care services can help. With preventive and chronic care management, members can receive value-based care management for different MSK conditions.

An established and trusted relationship with a primary care doctor encourages members to prioritize and better manage their health. But with limited access to primary care physicians, a confusing and open-ended referral process and election of more expensive healthcare modalities, many employees aren’t getting the care they need and deserve. Here’s how virtual primary care is making a difference in treating MSK conditions. 

High cholesterol “can significantly increase your risk of developing chest pain, heart attack, and stroke.” Virtual primary care services can help.

With virtual primary care, patients have access to free, quality care to help with the management of high cholesterol and other preventive diseases. Virtual primary care doctors can help with dietary planning, weight management, smoking cessation, medications and more. Learn more about how virtual primary care can treat high cholesterol here.  

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), 8.4% of Americans aged 18+ have asthma which costs the U.S. more than $80 billion (about $250 per person in the U.S.) annually in medical expenses, missed work, school days and deaths.

Virtual primary care expands access and makes it easier to see a doctor if you need refills of inhalers and other prescription medications. Here is an example of a member's experience to show how unique each patient's virtual primary care visit can be.  

Yes! Your virtual primary care doctor will want to know every aspect of your health, and that includes your mental health. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and Virtual Primary Care supports both. Every small detail could be important for your primary care physician to know. Learn more about how virtual primary care supports both your physical and mental health here.  

Virtual primary care is an innovative solution that supports an employee's physical and mental well-being for whole-person health guidance. It is also a solution that can provide culturally competent care by supporting equity of access, a safe and inclusive clinical environment, and a system to continually monitor and assess the efficacy of care. Read more about how virtual primary care can support culturally competent care here 

The main difference between these services is that virtual primary care takes place over remote calls, while traditional primary care has in person visits. Besides the obvious answers to saving you time and money, virtual primary care provides access to independent doctors, the absolute best in-network specialists and the ability to talk to a doctor 24/7. Read more details about these differences in this blog. 

The virtual primary care journey is different for everyone. Whether it’s a routine checkup, mental health inquiry or specialist recommendation, virtual primary care is a convenient, cost-effective solution that creates a unique member experience.

Read an example of a member's experience to show just how unique a virtual primary care visit can be here.

Mental health and physical health are intricately interwoven — which is why it is so common and beneficial for primary care physicians to treat mental health conditions alongside physical conditions. 

Virtual primary care is an innovative approach to the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions. It improves access to care by eliminating the need for travel time and expense and can frequently be offered at $0 out-of-pocket cost. Virtual primary care also allows those who had previously been marginalized by the traditional healthcare system to get the help they need — mentally and physically. Learn more about how virtual primary care can support mental health here.

When virtual care and in-person specialist care work in tandem, patients receive whole-person health guidance. With virtual primary care, patients can meet with a trusted doctor quickly and conveniently, whether it’s urgent, preventive or chronic care management that is needed.

Virtual primary care can act as adjunct care and support the continuity of care even if a person uses a primary care physician (PCP) and provides better care coordination with in-network specialists. Here are some more ways virtual primary care improves care coordination with in-person care.

Primary care allows trusted doctors to provide high-quality healthcare to patients — including preventive treatment, medication management, and support for chronic disease and whole-person wellness. Personal barriers such as cost, travel, time off work or arranging childcare deter people from seeking care. A Primary Care Physician shortage is also a barrier to getting care.

Virtual primary care removes these barriers and offers patients access to convenient healthcare, encouraging usage to save on healthcare costs down the line. Learn more about how virtual care can support employers and their workforce here

Preventive care typically consists of ongoing visits (at least one per year) with your primary care doctor, who will address your health concerns and make sure you’re doing everything you need to protect your long-term health. Even if you’re feeling healthy, an annual wellness check is important for your long-term health.

Virtual primary care allows you to talk to your primary care doctor via phone or video. Appointments are conducted virtually, but your doctor will refer you to in-person (and in-network) care if needed. So if you don’t need in-person care, you don’t have to go anywhere! Learn more.

Women+ health is care that encompasses the full spectrum of health needs experienced by female-identifying, transgender and nonbinary individuals. 

Virtual primary care providers (PCP) play an integral part in access to affordable general care. Many Women+ individuals use OBGYNs as primary care physicians. While virtual primary care practices should not replace a patient’s relationship with a gynecologist or other specialist, it is important for these patients to also have a relationship with a PCP who may be best suited to treat Women+ health conditions that are not related to reproductive processes.  

Learn more about how virtual primary care can help treat Women+ health conditions.

Virtual mental health

Due to the pandemic, employees have reported worsening mental health according to an Ispos survey. Virtual mental health is a convenient, readily available solution that gives patients access to a counselor in a safe space of their choosing. Counselors can help patients with grief, substance use, depression, anxiety, work/life stress, parenting, relationship problems, body image, money troubles and more. 

First Stop Health Virtual Mental Health offers 24/7 access to short-term, solution-focused counseling and is available to members at little-to-no cost. Members can request their counselor's gender to better support and align their personal mental health journey. Learn more about how our Virtual Mental Health solution can support employers and their employees here.  

Patients can schedule a virtual visit with counselors to discuss mental health issues like grief, substance use, depression, anxiety, work/life stress, parenting, relationship problems, body image, money troubles and more.  

All members need to do is request a visit with a counselor via the First Stop Health app, website, or with a phone call. They are connected to an intake specialist who will gather their information and schedule an appointment with a counselor that best fits their needs. If a member needs immediate care, they will be transferred to a counselor right away. After meeting with a counselor, members can set up future appointments for short term, solution focused counseling. Watch this video or read our blog to learn more! 

Mental health is about more than whether or not you have a mental illness – it includes the way you think, feel and act.

Taking care of your mental health doesn’t just mean self-care Sundays and morning yoga. While those things may be helpful, it’s also normal to need support from a doctor, counselor or other resource. Learn more about why mental health is so important.

The most common topics include grief, substance use, depression, anxiety, work/life stress, parenting, relationship problems, body image and money troubles.  

First Stop Health counselors can treat any mental health issue with short term, solution-focused sessions. Members are matched with a counselor who specializes in their area of need. 

Virtual Mental Health stands out from traditional Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). While EAPs typically include a mental healthcare or counseling component, employers and their employees do not see the benefits they would expect. EAPs also have low utilization -- in fact, just 6.9% of employees in North America use their EAP each year. 

Compared to EAPs, First Stop Health develops and deploys custom employee engagement materials to boost utilization. Learn more about how First Stop Health compares to Employee Assistance Programs here. 

There are several mental health benefit options for employers to offer their employees. The options range from general wellness benefits like mental health days or free fitness classes to traditional therapy, employee assistance programs (EAPs), and virtual mental health solutions. For the former mental health benefits, they tend to be more expensive, are lower in value or have longer wait times. 

Virtual mental health can make an enormous difference with employee well-being. Solutions can vary widely when it comes to mode of contact and can be based on the patient’s comfort using video, audio, live chat or asynchronous messaging. Solutions should be available 24/7, have minimal wait time and should be free for members and their families. Read more about the different kinds of mental health benefits employers can offer employees and their practicalities here.  

You may have heard of long-term counseling, where you regularly see your counselor for months or even years. Patients focus on a deeper exploration of the root causes of ongoing life issues. Short-term counseling takes a more solution-oriented approach. During this type of counseling, you’ll focus on identifying immediate solutions to the issue you are facing.

First Stop Health Virtual Counseling is confidential care provided by your employer. After requesting a visit, a counselor will call you to learn about what you’re going through (such as depression, anxiety, or relationship concerns). Together, you’ll schedule a phone or video visit with a counselor who can address your specific needs. Read here to learn more!



Virtual mental health can help treat depression. Through virtual mental health paired with virtual primary care, employers can offer a tried-and-true benefit to their employees to support them throughout their unique healthcare journeys. Medication therapy combined with counseling is an important treatment strategy for those struggling with depression.

Virtual primary care can provide medication therapy for many mental health conditions while virtual mental health can provide counseling for dual therapy. Learn more about ways virtual care can provide support for depression.

Today, about 1 in 5 American adults are informal caregivers for an adult or child with special needs. To better support employees who are informal caregivers, employers can offer stress-free, convenient access to virtual care for anxiety, depression, grief and other mental health concerns. 

Virtual primary care can provide medication therapy for many mental health conditions while virtual mental health can provide counseling for dual therapy. Here are the ways virtual care can support caregivers.

More than 40 million US adults have an anxiety disorder. Employers have the opportunity to support their workforce with virtual care. Virtual primary care complemented with virtual mental health provides employees with whole-person care. Medication therapy combined with counseling is an important treatment strategy for those struggling with anxiety.

Virtual primary care can provide medication therapy in many mental health situations while virtual mental health can provide counseling for dual therapy. Here are the ways virtual care can support the treatment of anxiety.

The holidays can be a stressful time for many. As inflation worsens and costs continue to rise, gift giving, groceries for holiday events or travel expenses to see family around the holidays can make avoiding stress seemingly impossible.  

But virtual care can help. As a digital-first solution, it removes the stressors of seeking in-person care such as cost, finding a doctor, travel, taking time off work and more. Here are the ways virtual care can support employees struggling with stress during the holiday season.

Virtual Care

Virtual care has become a preferred healthcare delivery model for many and it’s clear that it’s here to stay. A recent study of 500,000+ patients looked at the quality of performance with virtual care versus in-person care. The findings were simple: Virtual care not only provides a convenient means to accessing care, but even improves users’ healthcare experiences.

Here are a few key findings that show virtual care provides a better healthcare experience compared to traditional, in-person care.

For any virtual care company, securing patient data is of utmost importance. First Stop Health takes security practices very seriously, ensuring patient data is always protected from unauthorized access, corruption, or theft. 

Here are a few of the best security practices for virtual care.

Whether it’s an emergency or a routine trip to your PCP for a simple sinus infection, a doctor’s visit takes much more time than we typically anticipate. A recent study revealed 30% of patients left their doctor’s office due to long wait times.

First Stop Health Telemedicine and Virtual Primary Care provide fast, convenient solutions to a daunting necessity. Members can connect to doctors in under 6 minutes for Telemedicine and within 3 days for Virtual Primary Care. Learn more here. 

With access to convenient, high-quality healthcare, virtual care empowers employees to advocate for their health. To help consultants and employers evaluate a top-tier virtual care provider, we’ve rounded up a few ways virtual care companies fall short in their services.

Monkeypox is a rapidly spreading virus. This virus is very similar to the smallpox virus and is being heavily researched right now. Here’s what you should know about monkeypox. 

Fever, chills, body aches, sore throat, headache, and that’s not even the worst-case scenario. That’s the bad news, but the good news is that these are modern times, with modern remedies. You don’t have to suffer. And if you are exposed to someone who is suffering, you can prevent yourself from “going down."

Before turning to Dr. Google, here are answers to common questions about the flu from one of our doctors. 

Today, the LGBTQIA+ community accounts for roughly 7.1% of the U.S. population, which is around 23.3 million individuals. Those who identify as LGBTQIA+ are at increased risk for a host of physical and mental health issues.

Physically, individuals are more likely to endure HIV/AIDS, obesity, breast cancer, HPV infection and more (2). Mentally, this community shows increased rates of suicide and suicidal thoughts, mood disorders, anxiety, eating disorders and substance use.

To couple these issues with the systemic healthcare issues already in place creates an environment that puts LGBTQIA+ people at greater health risks than others. While it is true that LGBTQIA+ healthcare issues have been improving in recent years, there is still growth to be made. Here are some ways healthcare can change to accommodate more individuals.