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Jim Cramer has spent a lot of time recently discussing health care stocks, specifically the cost containment plays, because he thinks they are in the perfect sweet spot for the current market.
When he refers to controlling health care costs, he is referring to those companies that can use their scale to negotiate reduced prices with drugmakers and hospitals. Sometimes, in order to get a better understanding of a theme, it requires going off the tape to highlight privately held companies that are pioneering the way.
That is why Cramer spoke with Doctor on Demand, a service that allows patients to video conference with their doctors through the Web. This platform could ultimately lead to cheaper medical care and more convenience.
The company's service is currently available to both individuals in exchange for a flat fee, or businesses can provide it as a benefit to their employees. And now the competition in the online medical space has grown; Walgreens announced on Wednesday that it plans to expand its telemedicine business into 25 states by the end of the year.
Additionally the largest company in the industry, Teladoc, filed a week and a half ago to come public. All told, Cramer believes that the concept of telemedicine is both a game changer and investible.
Can Doctor on Demand continue to lead the way to changing the health-care landscape? To find out, Cramer spoke with Doctor on Demand's co-founder and CEO, Adam Jackson.
The first concern to most patients using Doctor on Demand is how to ensure that they are seeing both the right doctor and good doctor. Jackson explained that the application allows patients to browse a list of physicians and see where they went to school. The company's promise is to only employ board certified, American- trained medical doctors.
The CEO says Doctor on Demand is also helping to reduce the cost of medical care, as it offers a significantly cheaper option than going to an urgent care center or emergency room. Here's how it works: patients only pay $40 per visit: $30 goes to the doctor, and $10 goes to the company.
"First of all, if you just heard about us on TV or in the app store, you're going to use us because we're the only ones that go direct to consumers. Even if you don't have insurance, it doesn't matter. Put your credit card in for $40 you can see a doctor," Jackson said.
Because the company only makes $10 on each visit, it needs to maintain moderate to high volume, the CEO noted.
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Cramer asked if Doctor on Demand could also have the potential to partner with pharmaceutical companies to provide assistance to patients, just as a company like Actavis does currently. Jackson stated that the company does not intend on going down that route, as they do not want to put any pressure on physicians or provider staff to prescribe medications.
"We'd rather have patients come to us because their insurance plan, their employer, or someone else they trust told them about it to get an honest and unbiased medical opinion," Jackson said.