Timely MD Partnership Provides Students Low-Cost Telehealth Services
“Because we’re in New York City, we have all the medical resources that a large city provides, but there used to be a bit of a barrier to accessing those resources,” says Director of Student Life Nick Swedick.
The King’s College is pleased to partner with Timely MD to bring telemedicine healthcare services to students. Through the online platform Timely MD designed for King’s, all students now have immediate 24/7 access to licensed counselors and doctors. Students can contact a healthcare provider through an online questionnaire, phone call, or video call. Doctors can prescribe antibiotic prescriptions and will refer students to in-person doctor visits if necessary.
In the fall of 2018, Timely MD is providing these services free of charge to King’s students. Starting in spring 2019, the cost for services will be $95 per semester, applied directly to a student’s account as a health services fee.
Watch: Timely MD Overview
“Because we’re in New York City, we have all the medical resources that a large city provides, but there used to be a bit of a barrier to accessing those resources,” says Director of Student Life Nick Swedick. “Timely MD reduces that barrier significantly, particularly for the minor things.” Minor symptoms, if ignored, can develop into more serious issues that can land a student in the emergency room, Swedick says. Timely MD provides students a convenient way to respond to early warning signs. The service allows for four free medical consults each semester, with a $40 fee for each additional meeting.
Through Timely MD, students have access to four free telecounseling visits per semester in addition to the four medical consults. For regular, ongoing counseling, the Student Development team recommends that students work with the College’s in-person counseling services. Swedick says, “While we encourage students to come to our in-person counselors for ongoing counseling, to be able to do a phone call or skype call with a counselor late at night when the College’s offices are closed is huge.”
Timely MD was first piloted by Abilene Christian University, a college of around 5,100 students in Texas. Through their partnership with Timely MD, Abilene Christian saw a 15 percent decrease in flu incidence and a decrease in unnecessary emergency room visits. At Abilene Christian, 26 percent of Timely MD virtual visits took place on weekends or after business hours, underscoring the need for around-the-clock services.
Both King’s and Abilene Christian University attract high numbers of students from around the country, making Timely MD’s services all the more relevant. “We have students who come here without insurance, or with insurance that is good back home but might not apply as much here,” Swedick says. Obtaining a prescription through Timely MD can save students expensive out-of-network charges.
Dean of Students David Leedy says, “Timely MD will be a huge boon for the health needs of our community.”
Timely MD has helped to treat six King’s students within the first week of classes alone. Kyle Kendrick (RTS ’19) was experiencing knee pain and used Timely MD to set up an appointment. “The service easily set up an appointment for me and I was able to speak to a doctor within fifteen minutes,” Kendrick said. “After asking questions about my pain and what hurt, the doctor advised me to rest it, put ice on it, and take ibuprofen. If it wasn’t better in a few days, she advised me to see a doctor in person.” After a few days of continued pain, Kendrick went to a local urgent care as advised, but he said that the Timely MD service helped him know what next steps to take.
Students can access their Timely MD account and find out more about the service at www.kings.care.