Frequently asked questions
How Sherpaa works
Who are your doctors?
Our doctors are experienced, well-trained, academic clinicians who work exclusively for Sherpaa. We selected them because their resumes are impeccable, but also because they are kind, caring, and believe healthcare should be more accessible and work better for you. Their mission is to make healthcare exceptional. Get to know a few of them here.
How does Sherpaa work with my insurance?
Sherpaa is a first point of contact and, 70% of the time insurance isn’t necessary, because our doctors solve your problem via app, without a doctor visit. But when our doctors think you need a test or to be seen in person, then you use your insurance. When this happens, we work to ensure you spend your money wisely and only as necessary. Given how much visits to doctors or ERs cost nowadays, a mistake could be the difference between going on vacation this year...or not.
Does it cost me anything to use Sherpaa after I join?
No. After you become a member, you can communicate and solve problems with our doctors all you want. We believe healthcare should be good, ongoing communication, not a 12 minute transaction. Solving real problems takes time and close communication.
How do I communicate with Sherpaa doctors?
You create a new "concern” within the Sherpaa app and tell us about your symptoms and the backstory. Thereafter, we’ll use email-like messaging, photos, phone, or video — whatever is best suited to tackle your problem. Some cases might take 10 minutes and others 10 months. We work alongside you throughout, until you’re healthy again.
How does Sherpaa compare to on-demand doctor video visits?
We believe good care involves ongoing communication. Video visits are transactions that do not allow for testing, follow-up, and a relationship throughout the entire situation. Because of this, video chatting with a strange doctor is limited to treating very, very simple things. Sherpaa treats the entire spectrum of your needs from the simple things to coordinating care for complex conditions for months on end.
Is Sherpaa your doctors' full time job?
Yes! Sherpaa is their practice. We hire our doctors because we believe dedicated, focused doctors are key to high quality care.
Will I choose my own doctor?
When you sign up for Sherpaa, you are assigned to a small group of 5 to 7 doctors who all work as a team to care for you. When you have just one doctor, this can lead to bottlenecks. A team works together to solve your problem quickly and effectively.
Will I have the same doctor every time?
No. You get your very own small team of doctors. All of the activity happens within a case you create. Because 98% of all activity is messaging, every doctor on your team can read and understand the entire situation. But for continuity’s sake, you interact with the same small team and form relationships with them over time. And instead of getting only one doctor’s opinion, you get all your doctors acting as a team to care for you.
Will Sherpaa doctors ever see me in person?
No. Our doctors exclusively practice online medicine. The number one rule as a Sherpaa doctor is “If you’re in any way unsure or uncomfortable, have the patient seen in person.” However, this only happens 30% of the time because most health issues can be diagnosed and treated based on thorough history-taking, tests that confirm suspicions, and close, ongoing communication throughout the issue.
How can Sherpaa doctors do so much without seeing me in person?
Doctors know that 80% of a diagnosis is about asking the right questions and taking an accurate, detailed history of you and your situation. Then, you confirm your suspicions with tests. Sometimes those tests are physical exams and sometimes they’re imaging or blood work. To confirm our suspicions, we often order blood work or imaging, share those results with you inside our app, and start treatment. However, sometimes a physical exam is the best test and we’ll refer you to be seen in person. But no matter what test you order, the best care involves careful follow-up, frequent updates, and confirmation that you’re getting better. And that’s what Sherpaa does best.
When will Sherpaa doctors respond to me?
Sherpaa’s messaging is active from 8am to 8pm EST. However, for urgent issues, you can always call our doctors via the app twenty four hours a day. After you create a case, our average response time is about 20 minutes. However, our doctors handle cases based on urgency. If you create a case, and it’s urgent, you’ll often get a response in just a few minutes. If it’s not time-sensitive, you’ll get a response in less than 2 hours.
How do you choose who you refer to?
Over the last 5 years, Sherpaa has built a network of specialists and facilities all over America. We created a proprietary 30-point scale to rate potential people and places to include them in the network. And then we use our clients’ feedback to continually prune the network over time. Ensuring the referral is in-network for you is our first priority. Also, we aim to only refer you to people and places that we believe will offer you a great experience with kind personalities. They have a history of working with us to coordinate care. However, this is very hard. Healthcare out in the wild is pretty messy. So, that’s why we solicit your help with your reviews after every referral.
How does Sherpaa work with local doctors?
When you need to be seen in person, we recommend an in-network doctor or facility. If we refer you to a specialist, we alert the specialist about the referral, give them a heads up about your situation, and, after you’ve seen the specialist, we get their consultation report and share it with you. Good care is about working as a team with your local people to ensure you’ve got everything you need.
How does Sherpaa protect my privacy?
Your privacy and security is our primary consideration and we’ve gone to great lengths to ensure your information is kept confidential. Sherpaa’s technology is HIPAA compliant. All of your data is encrypted and all data transmission between our apps and servers is encrypted. You are required to enter a complex password and, if you’re using our iPhone app, you can implement TouchID.
How Sherpaa treats
How would Sherpaa doctors treat a UTI?
Every year or so, you get a UTI. And every year, you have to make an appointment to get it treated. It’s very annoying, the UTI and the rigamarole of dealing with office visits to get an antibiotic that works every single time. It’s seriously the only time you ever really have to use your insurance. Well, that and to get refills on your birth control.
Last week, you got your annual UTI so you launched Sherpaa’s app, told our doctors your story, answered a bunch of questions, and picked up a prescription soon after for both antibiotics and your birth control. Two days later, Dr. Gonnella at Sherpaa messaged you to see how you were feeling. It worked like magic.
How would Sherpaa doctors treat an ankle injury?
You twisted your ankle last Saturday while helping your 9 year old practice her soccer skills. You fired up Sherpaa’s app, told them what happened and attached a photo of your swollen, bruised ankle. Dr. Elam at Sherpaa asked you a bunch of questions and then ordered an X-ray of your ankle at an imaging center in your neighborhood. So you went and then headed back home. An hour later, Dr. Elam messaged you with good news and attached the radiology report showing it was just sprained, not broken. Your amazing husband went to Walgreens to get everything Dr. Elam suggested to get your ankle back on track. It sure did beat a trip to the ER on a Saturday afternoon.
How would Sherpaa doctors treat my asthma?
You’ve had asthma for years. You take a few daily medications to keep it under control but sometimes you’re too busy at work to stay on top of it. In the last 5 years, you’ve been to the ER three times. Managing your asthma is relatively simple, you just hate going to the doctor, especially when work is busy. With Sherpaa, you don’t have to go to the doctor to get refills nor get steroids when things really flare up. The first time you used Sherpaa, you and the Sherpaa doctors created goals for managing your asthma. When your peak flow meter (the device that gives me a number for how well I’m breathing) reads low, you just fire up the Sherpaa app, tell our doctors what’s going on, share your peak flow numbers, and they prescribe your needed medications to get flare ups under control. And every so often they check in to make sure all is going well. It’s just so easy and accessible and now you really don’t have to worry anymore about finding yourself in the ER.
How would Sherpaa doctors treat my high blood pressure?
You’ve had high blood pressure for the past 3 years. A doctor prescribed you some medication 3 years ago but you stopped taking it. You felt fine. Since then you and your partner had a baby and you’ve been thinking you need to get your health in order. You signed up for Sherpaa about 4 months ago and you were asked about your blood pressure. You didn’t lie. Soon after, a Sherpaa doctor messaged you and asked you about it and suggested that next time you were in Walgreens you should get your blood pressure taken and message us back with the results. So you did and, sure enough, it was high. Dr. Gonnella recommended a wifi-connected blood pressure monitor and also a new medication. Over the course of the next few weeks, you and the Sherpaa doctors messaged back and forth to find the right medication dose that got your blood pressure where it needs to be. Everything’s good now. And it’s nice to know that issues like this can be solved without wasting so much time in doctor’s offices.
How do I contact Sherpaa?
If you have a question that’s not answered here, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I cancel my Sherpaa membership?
If you’re not happy, we’re not happy. If you’d like to cancel, just send us an email at email@example.com.
If I canceled my account, can I sign up again?
Can I use Sherpaa on my mobile device?
Does Sherpaa work with kids?
No. You must be at least 18 years old to join Sherpaa.
What form of payment does Sherpaa accept?
Sherpaa accepts all major credit cards.
How am I billed?
Sherpaa bills your credit card every month to ensure you have no gaps in Sherpaa availability.