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INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVE:

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) telehealth platforms now offer treatment for testosterone deficiency (TD). We sought to compare the cost of undergoing treatment with testosterone therapy (TTh) via DTC platforms to the cost for similar care at a tertiary center.

METHODS:

Google was queried to identify DTC platforms offering TTh. Platforms that did not provide transparency of services and prices were excluded. Information regarding the type of services offered as well as the cost for the initial evaluation and for 12 months of treatment were gathered. The cost of evaluation and treatment for TD per the American Urological Association (AUA) guidelines at a tertiary center were estimated using a single institution’s cost estimator for a patient with no insurance, private insurance, and Medicare.

RESULTS:

Three DTC platforms met inclusion criteria: Hone, Regenex, and TRT Nation. The services provided by these platforms for the evaluation and follow up of patients on TTh were similar to the AUA guidelines (Table 1). The cost of the initial evaluation was lowest for the patient with Medicare at a tertiary center ($0) and via the DTC platform Hone ($165.00) (Table 2). The cost for 12 months of treatment was lowest among the patient with Medicare ($131.16) and the patient with private insurance ($777.96) at the tertiary center (Table 3). The cost of ongoing treatment was higher via all 3 platforms as compared to the tertiary center.

CONCLUSIONS:

While DTC telehealth platforms may offer a cost benefit to some patients in the initial evaluation for TD, the cost of ongoing treatment with TTh via these platforms exceeds that which may be encountered at a tertiary care center.

Source of Funding:

None

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