Amwell Review

Founded by Ido and Roy Schoenberg in 2006, Amwell is a telemedicine service based out of Boston, MA, that connects you with doctors, therapists, and psychiatrists quickly and efficiently, without the need to leave your home. Its goal is simple: Make quality medical and mental health care more accessible and convenient. And for the most part, the company achieves this goal.

 

To fairly and thoroughly review Amwell against its competitors, we surveyed 100 current users of 33 different online therapy platforms to gain insight into their experience. We also sent questionnaires directly to each company to get more detailed information about their offerings. These surveys and questionnaires allow us to directly compare offerings, service quality and client satisfaction across companies. We use feedback from client questionnaires to evaluate user satisfaction and perceived quality.

Amwell did not respond to our questionnaire, despite several attempts to contact them. This hinders our ability to gain as much insight and purpose as we can with some of its competitors. We have to rely exclusively on user survey data to rate the company. Keep reading to see how Amwell is taking on the online therapy competition.

 

First Impact and the Registration Process

The Amwell website is modern and informative, with a website that is relatively easy to navigate. However, because Amwell is a large telemedicine company, its website is also large, with many pages. As a result, it can be difficult to find detailed answers to questions about a particular service from the website menu alone. Sometimes, it’s easier to google “Amwell” and whatever service you’re looking for (eg “couple therapy.”)

 

Well

 

Having said that, the FAQ page is well laid out, providing thorough answers to posted questions. There is also a chat function on the website to help you find what you are looking for. However, the chime sound generated by the chat function is annoying and distracting.

 

Seventy-three percent of users surveyed reported that they had an excellent or excellent experience when signing up for Amwell.

To register for therapy services at Amwell, you go to the therapy page, then click “start”. You then tell the insurance company what you have and enter your email. Once your email is confirmed, you will be able to enter the portal where you can schedule an appointment. You also have the option to contact a customer support representative if you need additional help scheduling your appointment.

When you schedule an appointment, you can select the therapist you’d like to work with by browsing the therapist biographies with availability. Each therapist’s bio lists their qualifications, areas of specialization, and client reviews to help you make an informed decision about a good fit.

 

Amwell is quite good at connecting patients with doctors on the same day, but sometimes it can take longer to connect you with your therapist for sessions. According to the Amwell website, it can take up to 14 days to make an appointment with a therapist.

However, from the users we surveyed:

  • Forty-one percent said they heard from their therapist that same day.
  • Twenty percent said they heard from them within a few days.
  • Thirty percent said they heard from their therapist within the same week.

 

Cost

Amwell prices are competitive and less expensive than traditional face-to-face therapy. However, this company is not subscription based. It’s billed per therapy session booked, meaning you may spend more in a month booking weekly sessions than you would at a subscription-based online therapy company. This is probably why only 67% of the users we surveyed said the charges for Amwell were very good or very good.

What Subscription Plans Do They Offer?

Amwell does not offer any subscriptions. Instead, you pay for each session you book at the time of service.

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The price of a therapy session varies depending on your therapist’s experience:

  • A session with a licensed therapist who has a master’s degree costs $109.
  • A session with a licensed therapist with a doctorate costs $129.
  • Psychiatric appointments cost $279 for the first visit and $109 for each follow-up.

You can book talk therapy sessions individually or as a couple. You can also book talk therapy sessions for children as young as 10 years old with parental consent.

Is There a Free Trial?

There is no free trial or free consultation session.

Does Amwell Accept Insurance?

Amwell accepts a wide variety of health insurance plans. If your health insurance plan is online and includes therapy and psychiatric services, you will pay your insurance copay or $69 cash price.

If your insurance provider isn’t listed on their site, Amwell will provide you with a receipt so you can look for reimbursement off the network yourself.

Of the users we surveyed, 85% said they could get at least some reimbursement from their insurance company for Amwell’s services, reducing costs on their own.

Can You Change or Cancel Your Subscription?

If you are not satisfied with your therapy session, you do not need to book another session, so you can freely stop therapy whenever you want.

You can reschedule or cancel your session, but it usually requires at least 24 hours’ notice. You will be charged a $20 no show fee if you miss or don’t show up for your session unless your therapist changes it.

Are There Discounts Available?

There are no discounts available for Amwell.

 

Ease of use

Once you’ve registered with Amwell, it’s easy to schedule a session with a therapist via the online scheduling system or the Amwell app. You can also call customer service and they will schedule a session for you over the phone.

Seventy-seven percent of users surveyed said they thought the Amwell platform was very good or very good in terms of ease of use.

 

Therapy and psychiatry sessions at Amwell are held via live video sessions for 45 minutes only. You cannot message or chat with your therapist.

Some users may miss the convenience that message therapy offers, but by focusing on live video sessions, Amwell is able to provide a service that feels closer to traditional therapy—even if it’s virtual—perhaps why 87% of users find their live video sessions to be excellent or very good.

Because you can choose your therapist at Amwell and you book your own therapy sessions through the online scheduling platform, it’s easy to change therapists whenever you want. All you have to do is browse the bios gallery, pick someone new, and schedule a session.

 

Seventy-two percent of users we surveyed found the switching process very easy or easy.

 

Qualification and Quality of Therapist Treatment

When choosing AmWell’s services, most of the users stated that the qualification of the therapist was very important to them and played a role in their decision to register and start the service.

 

Eighty-one percent of users surveyed said they found the therapist qualifications very good or very good.

More than 350 licensed therapists, social workers, counselors, and psychiatrists work for Amwell. All have master’s or doctoral degrees and their bios, detailing their additional certifications and training, are all listed on the Amwell website. Amwell also employs online doctors who can prescribe medications via telehealth appointments.

 

Ninety-two percent of the people we surveyed said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the therapist options provided by Amwell.

It seems, however, that most people try several therapists before booking a regular session with one therapist because only 10% of those we surveyed saw only one therapist. According to our survey:

  • Thirty-one percent of users met with two therapists.
  • Thirty-six percent saw three therapists.
  • Twenty-three percent met four or more.
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Types of Therapy Offered

Amwell employs a large number of therapists, psychiatrists, and doctors who specialize in different therapies or different types of treatment.

 

Therapeutic approaches most frequently used by Amwell therapists include:

The individual speech therapy services offered by Amwell are aimed at addressing:

  • Emergency
  • Depression
  • Emphasize
  • PTSD
  • Panic attacks
  • ADHD
  • Mild to moderate eating disorders
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Menopause
  • Women’s health problems
  • Pregnancy and postpartum problems
  • Insomnia
  • LGBTQ issues
  • Bipolar disorder

Amwell also offers talk therapy for children as young as 10, couples therapy, medication management, psychiatry, nutritional care, and breastfeeding support.

 

Privacy Policy

Amwell states on their website that they take great care in protecting your privacy and personal data. For example, all logging platforms and practices comply with HIPAA guidelines and requirements.

It should be noted, however, that while their privacy policy states that they take measures to keep online activities private and protect their systems from hackers and identity thieves, it is not specific about what their security policies are.

 

When you register, the company requires you to share your full name, email address, mobile number and address. This information is only used for emergency purposes, such as if you pose a threat to yourself or others.

In addition, when you book a session or appointment online, you can decide whether you want to share information or medication records with your doctor or therapist. Some users choose to share this information to help their providers treat them better.

All current and previous Amwell users have the option to email the company and request that their medical files be deleted.

 

Overall Client Satisfaction

Seventy-three percent of the people we surveyed said the treatment they received through Amwell was excellent or very good and 78% said the value for money spent was excellent or very good.

 

Eighty-one percent of users we surveyed said Amwell was better or significantly better than the previous service they had tried.

Perhaps this is why Amwell’s patients seem to stay on the service for a while. Our survey found:

  • Nineteen percent have worked with the company for three to six months.
  • Twenty-five percent have worked at the company for six months to a year.
  • Thirty-nine have been with the company for more than a year.

Additionally, 9% said it was highly or highly probable that they would still see an Amwell therapist within 12 months.

 

Eighty-eight percent of users surveyed said they highly or likely would recommend Amwell to someone like them.

 

Is Amwell Right For You?

Amwell is a great service for people who are looking for a one stop platform for all their medical needs. Because you can book sessions whenever you need them, this is a great choice if you need flexibility, either because of an unpredictable work schedule or if you’re not ready to commit to a number of therapy sessions per month.

It may also work well for new parents because it offers a variety of services—such as breastfeeding support and pregnancy or postpartum therapy—that its competitors don’t offer. Plus, because it offers talk therapy for children as young as 10, it’s a great company for families looking to use one company for everyone’s needs.

Because Amwell employs doctors and psychiatrists who can prescribe medication, it may also be a good choice for you if you need medication for depression or chronic pain. Amwell also accepts insurance, which makes it an affordable platform if you have insurance in a good network.

Amwell wasn’t designed to be an emergency or crisis service, although it does offer appointments on request. So it’s not a good choice for you if you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, are in a crisis, or need hospitalization. It’s also not a good choice if you live with a psychotic disorder or have a history of psychosis.

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Amwell vs. MD Live

Both Amwell and MDLive are large telehealth companies that also offer therapy and psychiatric services. They both employ a large staff of licensed therapists, certified doctors, and psychiatrists and they both have informative websites that are easy to navigate to attract patients and provide them with reliable information about various medical conditions and behaviors.

 

Both companies offer talk therapy for behavioral and psychiatric problems, although Amwell also offers nutritional support, breastfeeding support, pregnancy and postpartum therapy, and therapy for children and adolescents. Neither offers group counseling sessions.

Talk therapy sessions at both companies are 45 minutes long and take place via live video calls via your online client portal or app. Neither offers any messaging options to communicate with your therapist and in both places, you pay for each session when you book it, rather than paying for a monthly therapy subscription. The advantage of this is that you can start and stop therapy any time you like and easily change therapists until you find someone you like.

 

Prices for therapy sessions at Amwell and MDLive are comparable:

  • At Amwell, sessions cost $109-$129 depending on the qualifications of your therapist, while psychiatric visits cost $279 for the first session and $109 for follow-up appointments. However, with online insurance, you can pay less.
  • At MDLive, therapy sessions can cost up to $108 and psychiatric services up to $284, depending on your insurance coverage.

From the users we surveyed:

  • Seventy-three percent of Amwell users and 67% of MD Live users said the service was very good or very good.
  • Ninety-four percent of MD Live users said they were more or less likely to refer someone to the company, whereas only 88% of Amwell clients said the same.

Both companies appear to have loyal users who intend to stick with the platform for a while. According to our survey, 91% of Amwell users and 90% of MDLive users said they very likely or may still be a therapist with the company within 12 months.

Of the users we surveyed who had tried other therapy services, 81% of Amwell users reported that the service was better or significantly better than the service at the company they had previously used. On MD Live, only 73% of users said the same.



Final Verdict

Amwell is a great one-stop telehealth company for people looking for quality therapy, psychiatry, and treatment services. You can book sessions whenever you need them and if you have online health insurance you can pay a very affordable per session rate. However, if you’re not sure live video sessions will work for you, you might want to try an online therapy company that offers a monthly subscription with several communication options to talk to your therapist.

 

Methodology

Our methodology for evaluating online therapy companies is comprehensive and data-driven. To review the best online therapy programs, we sent questionnaires to 28 companies and surveyed 100 current users each. This allows us to directly and fairly compare the services offered by collecting qualitative and quantitative data about each company and user experience.

Specifically, we evaluate each company on:

  • Website usability
  • Registration process
  • Therapist qualifications
  • Types of therapy offered
  • Quality of care
  • Client-therapist communication options
  • Session duration
  • Subscription offer
  • Client privacy protection
  • Cost and value for money
  • Do they take insurance
  • Average out-of-pocket costs
  • The process of assigning a therapist
  • Ease of changing therapists
  • Overall user satisfaction
  • Chances are clients will recommend them

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