Traditional primary healthcare hasn’t changed much over the last hundred years: you call your primary care doctor’s office when you’re sick or in a need of a checkup, you come in for your visit, wait in the waiting room, and have a quick, predictable visit with your provider before being sent on your way.
Forward Health is doing things differently. They are combining technology with medicine to bring their patients, or members as they call them, a seamless, collaborative primary care experience.Ready to find out what primary care of the future look like? Wondering if this innovative new healthcare experience is a good fit for you? I took a deep dive into Forward Health so that I can bring you a complete review of this D2C telehealth platform.
What is Forward Health?
Forward Health is a tech-driven primary care office that serves patients both in their office locations and through telehealth, or online medicine. Forward combines top-rated doctors with advanced technological systems to better understand your health and help you build plans for the future.According to the CDC (Centers For Disease Control), 40% of deaths from leading causes are preventable. The doctors at Forward address both your every day and your chronic health needs, partnering with you to minimize long-term health risks. They take primary care to the next level by offering customized, advanced care, and screening that can help add years to your life.
How it Works: “The Forward Method”
Forward aims to give their members confidence in their care, knowing that every insight has been uncovered and that every question they have has been answered. They offer a comprehensive process in order to achieve this:
Step 1: Measure and Understand Your Total Health
Part 1: Scan Your Biometrics
Your visits, whether in-person or online, will start with their Body Scanner which captures your vitals, including your temperature, weight, and pulse oximetry. Those results will be available for your doctor immediately so they have a complete snapshot of your health. If your first visit is in one of their offices, you’ll stand in front of their 3D Body Scanner to capture your vitals. If it’s being done virtually, they will send you a Sensor Kit to get the data they need.
Part 2: Rapid Blood Testing
Forward’s blood testing protocol includes a comprehensive metabolic panel that screens for kidney and liver function, a lipid panel to monitor your cholesterol levels, hemoglobin level to screen for anemia, and an optional STI screening. Your results are ready in just 12 minutes and available to be reviewed by you and your doctor in real-time. If your visit is virtual, Forward will send a qualified lab specialist to your home to draw your blood. Then, you will review those results with your doctor during your Baseline visit.
Part 3: Genetic Analysis
To best understand your long-term health risks, your doctor will analyze genetic information and counsel you on the potential risks you may have for developing certain conditions, any medication sensitivities, and identify opportunities for health optimization. From this information, your doctor will provide you with a proactive wellness plan that includes diet management, exercise, stress, and sleep recommendations. This service is included with your Forward membership, but it is not required. However, the data derived from this analysis can be massively important for your long-term health.
Part 4: Build Your Medical and Family History Profile
Within the Forward App, you’ll be able to centralize your medical history, record your family history, and access your health profile anytime you wish. You have access to your medical records, personalized wellness plan, and your test results 24/7 within their dedicated app.
Step 2: Establish Goals and Personalize Your Care Plan
Part 1: Set Your Goals at Your Baseline Visit
During your Baseline visit, you’ll work with your doctor to review all the health data you’ve gathered. This includes your biometrics, labs, medical and family history, and you’ll have a complete physical exam. During this visit, your doctor will highlight any opportunities to proactively improve your health, creating actionable steps to achieve your goals. Common goals include weight loss, better sleep, and decreased stress and anxiety.
Part 2: Develop an Evidence-Based Healthcare Plan
Your personalized Forward plan will have a goal that you will track together with your doctor who will monitor your progress every step of the way through proactive check-ins.
Step 3: Monitor Your Health With Your Doctor
Part 1: Track Your Mental Health
Within the Forward App, you’ll be able to access a series of questions about your mental health. Once completed, your results are reviewed by the Forward Care Team where they will offer immediate support and guidance when and where it’s needed. They encourage frequent check-ins so that you can stay on track with your mental health and track your progress over time.
Part 2: Monitor Your Skin for Early-Stage Cancer
Forward has a Skin Cancer Scan visit that can replace your annual visit to the dermatologist’s office. It works by completing a physical skin exam, capturing images of any blemishes, and tracking any changes over time. This is all done within the Forward App.
Part 3: Access Your Doctor and Care Team Continuously
You’ll have access to your doctor and dedicated Care Team around the clock for anything you need. So whether you wake up with a sore throat, need a recommendation for a therapist, or anything in between, you can get the help you need 24/7 with the messaging feature in the Forward App. You’ll also receive periodic check-ins from your Care Team regarding your goals and how you can continue to strive towards them.
Step 4: Realize Goals and Feel Improvements in Your Health
With your membership, you can get unlimited visits where you can adjust your plan with new insights, meet with your doctor when you need to, either virtually or in-person. You’ll also refresh your labs and biometric scans routinely so that your health is up-to-date.
What Are The Benefits of Your Forward Membership?
GoForward Health not only replaces your existing primary care doctor, but it also includes a plethora of additional preventive and convenient services. Visits with your Forward doctor and your care team are available both in-person and at home and include the following:
Unlimited Doctor visits - Unlimited in-person and online visits with no copay required EVER!
Biometrics Monitoring - Innovative sensor technology that records your blood pressure, temperature, and pulse oximetry, including from home.
24/7 messaging capabilities - Get in touch with your doctor anytime through the messaging feature on the app.
Genetic analysis - Testing for common health conditions and risks.
Skin cancer screening - Monitoring and tracking your skin over time.
Mental health support - Periodic check-ins with your care team regarding your mental health and potential prescription treatments.
Men and women-specific health - STI testing, birth control counsel, prostate screening, and more.
Prescription delivery right to your home - Medications are delivered right to your door, no need to go to the pharmacy.
Vaccines - Standard, travel, and seasonal vaccines.
COVID-19 testing - Testing for COVID-19 on-site or at drive-through locations.
Close Physician relationships and shared decision making - Get a personalized healthcare plan and form a bond with your provider thanks to the intimate relationship that will develop through frequent communication.
Complete care for one monthly fee - You’ll benefit from all of these inclusions for just $149 per month. No copays or surprise bills ever!
Forward Healthcare FAQs
This revolutionary new primary care service is radically different from your traditional primary care doctor, which means you probably have some questions before you’re willing to take the leap. Below are some frequently asked questions and their answers so that you have all the information you need to decide if this healthcare service is right for you.
Q: Does Forward work with my insurance?
A: Yes, however, insurance is not required to become a Forward member. It’s important to keep in mind that your Forward membership is NOT health insurance and therefore is not a substitute for a health care plan. Forward encourages its members to maintain a separate comprehensive health insurance plan in addition to their monthly plan. Forward helps meet day-to-day needs, but does not cover things like specialist visits, hospitalizations, or ongoing medications and treatments. Most of the time, members use their Forward subscription as a supplement to their health care plan, with many combining a high-deductible, low-premium plan with a Forward membership to maximize coverage and money. In this scenario, the high-deductible plan serves as a safety net should you have any unforeseen medical conditions arise.
Q: What is NOT included in a Forward membership?
A: Forward’s membership plans are designed to meet your day-to-day needs, while also helping you avoid issues, detect issues early, and control any chronic issues before they become a real problem. The things that are not covered include:
- Imaging (MRIs, x-rays, CAT scans)
- Services requiring a referral to a specialist
- Planned or elective hospitalizations
- Urgent and emergency care, including hospitalizations
- Prescription medications for ongoing needs and those that are not included in the membership.
- Ongoing treatment for severe depression, anxiety, or substance abuse
- Lab testing outside of the testing that’s included in the Baseline visit
Q: Is there a membership commitment?
A: Yes, due to the fact that your healthcare team is working to help you achieve healthy lifestyle changes that take time, your Forward membership begins with a 6-month commitment to make sure you have the necessary time needed to reach your goals.
Q: Where are Forward office locations located?
A: Currently, you can visit a Forward office in the following cities:
Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC, San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, Orange County, Chicago, and Bellvue.
Why Choose Forward Healthcare for Your Primary Care?
When it comes to visiting your traditional primary care doctor, you’re probably accustomed to the long wait in the waiting room followed by another long wait in the exam room, sitting on an uncomfortable sheet of paper and in your underwear, only to actually see your doctor for about 5 minutes.
Your questions go answered and the whole process feels rushed and like you’re just another number. And unfortunately, that’s the truth. Primary care doctors are seeing an average of 20 patients per day and have a total of anywhere from 1,800 to 2,000 patients that they’re responsible for. This means that they are busy, rushed, and lack the time to give you the close, personalized care that you deserve.
With Forward, it’s different. Wait times are practically non-existent and you get an average of 3 times more time with your physician at each visit than you would at your regular doctor’s office. Plus, you have access to 24/7 messaging within their app, which means no more calling and leaving endless messages for the doctor’s nurse who never gets back to you. Between the advanced screening and monitoring that you’ll get with your Forward membership and the level of care and personalization that your doctor will provide you, you’ll have the opportunity to understand your health on a whole new level - all for just $149 per month!
Final Thoughts: Is Forward Healthcare Legit?
If you’re thinking that this all sounds too good to be true, think again - you really can get quality, personalized healthcare without all the hassle and struggle. Whether you live in a city where you can visit an office in-person or you want to go the telehealth route, you can rest assured that you’ll be getting custom-tailored care that’s exceedingly more in-depth than what you can get elsewhere.
For those who want to optimize their health and stay on top of it so that they can live the longest, fullest life possible, Forward is an amazing opportunity to do so.