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Forward

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For many years Adrian Aoun, founder of Forward, never had to give healthcare a second thought. However, that all changed when a close family member suffered a heart attack. Throughout the experience, Aoun (an engineer by trade) was impressed by the hospital's doctors but was less impressed by the outdated equipment, software, and costs. 

That's when Aoun decided it was time to do something. His idea was to make healthcare that feels comforting and smart. Forward is focused on discovering new ways to deliver healthcare using all the technologies healthcare has neglected: sensors, mobile, and AI.

The telemedicine company designed several intelligent technologies such as the Collaborative Smart Screen that allows doctors to focus on the conversation, interpret information from lab results, and create evidence-based plans with agreed-upon steps. 

Forward has designed a system that empowers doctors to use advanced technology such as intelligent biometric monitoring, genetic analysis, and more. The company's technology also allows advanced testing such as genetic analysis and skin cancer screening to be included in your primary care.

Patients can sign up for Forward's membership for just $149 per month.

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The Good

  • Membership Cost and Coverage
  • Membership Commitment
  • The Forward Method
  • Independent of Insurance

Membership Cost and Coverage

Forwards memberships are just $149 per month. That's it. No hidden fees, copays, or surprise bills after a doctor's visit. 

Even though Forward's membership fees are incredibly low, patients still receive a broad range of coverage, including the following:

  • Unlimited doctors visits — in-person and virtual visits
  • Biometrics monitoring — sensors for vitals monitoring including blood pressure, temperature, and pulse oximetry
  • 24/7 messaging — questions are answered by a Forward doctor and a dedicated care team member anytime, anywhere
  • Blood testing — cholesterol, heart health, kidney and liver function, hemoglobin, and more
  • Genetic analysis — genetic testing and counseling for health risks including cancer, heart disease, diabetes
  • Skin cancer screening — comprehensive physical exam for skin cancer and advanced monitoring over time
  • Mental health support — mental health check-ins, consults with your doctor and prescription guidance
  • Men's health — preventive screening for prostate health, STI testing, and more
  • Women's health — pap smears, pelvic exams, birth control counsel, STI testing, and more
  • Prescription delivery — medications delivered to your home, scheduled via the Forward app
  • Vaccines — travel, seasonal, and standard vaccines are included
  • COVID-19 testing — onsite and at drive-thru locations

Membership Commitment

If you're looking into signing up with Forward, keep in mind that the membership has a six-month commitment.

But after the first six months, the membership switches to a simple month-to-month agreement, and there is no cancelation penalty.

The Forward Method

After signing up for Forward's membership, patients can either do their first visit in-person or virtually. The first visit includes a scan of your biometrics with a Body Scanner. The scan captures information such as your body temperature, weight, pulse oximetry, and more. The results are then delivered to a doctor instantly.

If a patient can't visit one of the offices, Forward will send members a Sensor Kit to capture important metrics for their doctor. 

After reviewing the patient information, patients will work with their doctor to discuss goals, ask questions, and prioritize areas for improvement. Each patient will receive a personalized plan that allows patients to monitor their progress and proactively check-in along the way.

In between appointments, members can track their mental health, monitor their skin for early-stage cancers, and more. 

Whether in-person or virtually, Forward simplifies the healthcare process by making it much easier for patients to get in touch with their doctor and devise an evidence-based plan that works with their lifestyle. 

Independent of Insurance

Anyone can sign up for Forward's healthcare membership. The company believes that everyone deserves high-quality care (whether they have insurance or not). And while insurance is not required, Forward states that a number of members use Forward as a complement to their insurance. 

Forward's preventive approach to healthcare ensures that the majority of day-to-day needs are covered, and insurance is used for things like specialist visits, hospitalizations, or ongoing medications. 

However, those without insurance don't need to worry, as Forward promises the same flat monthly rate, with no hidden fees or unexpected bills. Additionally, Forward's Care Team will explain all treatment costs and let its patients know if a recommended service is not included. That way, they can decide how they want to proceed.

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The Bad

  • No Imaging Services
  • Site Locations and Accessibility

No Imaging Services

Currently, Forward does not provide imaging services (scans, x-rays, MRIs, etc.). However, if this service is needed, your Forward doctor will order the imaging at a separate location, and if you have insurance, it will be billed through your insurance. 

Site Locations and Accessibility

At the end of 2019, Forward has eight physical locations. The sites are currently located in downtown San Francisco; Century City's Westfield Mall in Los Angeles; Fashion Island Mall in Newport Beach; The Americana in Glendale; Flatiron in New York City; Midtown in New York City; Penn Quarter in Washington, D.C.; and Westfield UTC in San Diego.

However, just because you don't live near one of the physical locations doesn't mean you shouldn't sign up. Patients have access to a doctor and care team 24/7 via the Forward app. 

Forward even states that some of its members come in from out of town for their Baseline and rely on remote care via the app. However, this could get expensive for patients who live out of state and have to pay for flights, hotels, gas, and other traveling expenses.

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The Bottom Line

What we love about Forward is the company's dedication to making healthcare affordable and accessible to all. 

Forward is revolutionizing the healthcare industry by offering people preventative healthcare for just $149 per month. And unlike traditional doctor's offices (who charge you and your insurance for every service), there are no copays, hidden fees or surprise bills. The membership includes things like biometrics monitoring, blood testing, genetic analysis, skin cancer screening, mental health support, prescription delivery, vaccines, and more. Plus, the Forward app allows you to talk to a doctor or a care team member 24/7 if you have any questions or concerns. 

Another unique thing about Forward is that it is a tech company. The company focuses on building new technology to streamline the healthcare experience.

There are a few things to keep in mind when considering Forward as your healthcare provider. The company does not discourage anyone from signing up (the company boasts having members from all over the country), but keep in mind that if you don't live near one of the eight locations, you'll either have to travel or rely on remote care. There is also a minimum six-month commitment, and the company doesn't offer any imaging services. 

Overall, we highly recommend that customers look into Forward's healthcare membership. 

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