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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 7 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 7 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 7 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 

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! 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.  

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

While virtual primary care is new, it appears to be becoming a mainstay for patients, doctors and employers. Recent studies found that patients and doctors who used virtual primary care had a largely favorable association with quality of care. Here are some health trends that support adoption of a virtual primary care solution.    

Through our commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) principles, FSH offers an innovative health solution to LGBTQIA+ and Women+ populations. It is 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. 

Your first appointment with your doctor is a great opportunity to get to know one another. You can expect to talk about your current health concerns and goals, develop a health plan and discuss treatment options. Make sure to have your family health history and prescription information on hand. 

Preventive care typically consists of ongoing visits (at least one per year) with your virtual 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. With routine wellness checkups aligned with USPSTF recommendations, patients engage in better preventive care or chronic care management for better whole-person health.

Virtual Primary Care offers a convenient, affordable and effective solution for many chronic health conditions. By providing more frequent, longer and personalized visits, virtual primary care keeps patients engaged in their treatment of: 

  • Diabetes 
  • Obesity 
  • High blood pressure 
  • musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions 
  • High cholesterol  
  • Asthma  
  • And more 

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 7 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.

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.