News

UberDocs working to cut out doctor referral process

BOSTON — A recent study found Boston has the longest wait time to schedule appointments for specialists in the country.

It takes an average of 52 days to see someone with a referral.

"There's a certain point when you keep complaining, or you try to do something," said Dr. Paula Muto of UberDocs.

Over the course of 20 years, Muto has watched as the doctor/patient relationship has changed, and in some ways, deteriorated.

"I’ve been railing against the system for a while,” she said.

The system that she says is causing patients to receive delayed care that’s not as affordable as they'd like.

She had an idea. It's called UberDocs.

“What we're trying to do is take away all of that. Make it simple. Bring it back to the old days,” she said.

Rather than seeing your primary care physician for a referral, then waiting weeks to see a specialist, patients log on to UberDocs and book directly with a specialist, for a fee.

“You can actually find a surgeon directly, push a button, make an appointment and go,” she said.

The cost is $300 and $50 for Medicare patients. It can be paid using a credit card or health savings account. The system, which bypasses insurance, gives greater access to nearby doctors for timely advice or second opinions. Boston 25 News was able to find an appointment for an ear, nose and throat specialist the following day.

And she says that access means better health care overall.

Right now, UberDocs has 60 specialists throughout Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire, but Muto is continuing to expand--with the hope of being available nationwide.