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Parsley Health review Oct 2020

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By focusing on preventing illness, this practice takes an alternative approach to healthcare — but it’s pricey.

  • Explore this practice if you’re looking for holistic ways to manage your health.
  • Choose something else if you need a primary care provider.

How does Parsley Health work?

Parsley Health is a functional medicine practice that operates on a membership model. As a patient, you pay a monthly or annual fee to unlock unlimited messaging with healthcare professionals, book appointments and get a personalized health and wellness plan.

The boutique practice encourages you to see a doctor or health coach proactively, not just when you’re sick. Its team combines Western medicine with holistic techniques to treat chronic conditions and find the root cause of illness, and relies on technology to communicate with patients.

Like other membership medicine practices, Parsley Health limits its patient numbers to allow for longer consultations, with most appointments lasting at least 30 minutes. But it can’t treat all urgent or acute conditions — so it’s not a replacement for your primary care provider (PCP).

Can I choose my doctor or health coach?

Yes. When you request an appointment, you’ll be shown doctors or health coachers who are licensed in your state. You can can then select one based on their bio and credentials.

What services are covered under my Parsley Health membership?

The specific services come down to the membership option you choose.

Name of planHow long it lastsServices included
Complete Care12 months
  • 5 doctor’s visits (in person or online)
  • 5 health coach visits (online)
  • Advanced biomarker testing
  • Long-term health plan
  • Unlimited messaging with your care team
  • Access to prescriptions for medications and supplements
The Program4 months
  • 2 doctor’s visits (in person or online)
  • 3 health coach visits (online)
  • Advanced biomarker testing
  • Targeted health plan
  • Unlimited messaging with your care team
Free Trial3 weeks
  • 1 health coach visit
  • 1 care team visit
  • Introductory health plan

All members get access to discounted supplements on Parsley Health’s online store, and deals from wellness partners like ClassPass, MDFL Meditation and Daily Harvest.

What doesn’t my membership cover?

These services aren’t included in your membership fee:

  • Lab tests
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications
  • Supplements
  • Non-medical services recommended but not performed by Parsley Health, like acupuncture.

What conditions can Parsley Health treat?

As a functional medicine practice, Parsley Health aims to prevent and manage chronic conditions.

Its doctors and health coaches can help with these conditions and symptoms.

What Parsley Health can treatExamples of conditions
Autoimmune and thyroid conditions
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis
  • Celiac disease
  • Lupus
  • Sjrogren’s syndrome
  • Grave’s disease
  • Goiter
Cardiometabolic health
  • Asthma
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Pre-diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes
Digestive disorders
  • Acid reflux/GERD
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Small Intestinal Bacterial Growth (SIBO)
  • Food intolerances
  • Crohn’s
  • Diverticulitis
  • Dysbiosis
  • Gastritis and peptic ulcer disease
Hormonal issues
  • Amenorrhea
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Hormonal acne
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Menopause and perimenopause
  • Low libido
Detoxification and inflammation
  • Mold
  • Heavy metals
  • Gout
  • Recurring yeast infections
  • Candida overgrowth
  • Kidney stones
  • Arrhythmia
Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Joint pain
Skin issues
  • Acne
  • Rosacea
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Perioral dermatitis
  • Vitiligo
  • Melasma
  • Dermatitis
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa
Mental health
  • Burnout
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Acute depression
  • Postpartum depression and anxiety
Pregnancy and maternal issues
  • Prenatal preparation
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Infertility
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding support
  • Post-childbirth support

Can my doctor order lab tests?

Yes. Parsley Health’s doctors often order lab tests to assess allergies, genetics, microbiome health, cortisol and toxic metal levels.

The physical locations have in-house testing facilities. If you don’t live near the offices, Parsley Health will coordinate testing through BioReference, LabCorp or Quest or send you a kit by mail.

Can my doctor prescribe medication?

Yes. However, you can expect your doctor to explore lifestyle changes such as nutrition, exercise, supplements and stress management techniques before prescribing medication.

What doesn’t Parsley Health treat?

The practice isn’t equipped to:

  • Treat urgent and acute care conditions, like colds, strep throat, broken bones and lacerations requiring stitches
  • Conduct annual physical or gynecological exams
  • Administer vaccinations
  • Perform surgical procedures

    It also doesn’t have specialists on staff — though your doctor can provide a referral, if needed.

    What’s changed during COVID-19?

    To align with social distancing guidelines, Parsley Health expanded its telemedicine services during COVID-19. All health coach visits are now conducted online, and patients can opt to see their doctor virtually or in person, where necessary. The practice can also order COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody tests, when needed.

    There are a series of safety measures in place for physical locations:

    • Face coverings are required
    • No guests are allowed to accompany patients
    • Appointments are spaced out to minimize contact
    • All members are screened prior to appointments, and their temperature is taken upon arrival
    • The office spaces are frequently cleaned, and equipped with HEPA air purifiers and hand sanitizer
    • Any staff members exhibiting symptoms must quarantine for 14 days.

    Does health insurance cover the coronavirus?

    How much does Parsley Health cost?

    The Program is a four-month plan that costs $175 per month, or $595 upfront for the full membership (save $100).

    Complete Care is a 12-month membership priced at $150 per month — or you can pay $,1600 upfront for $200 savings.

    Does Parsley Health accept insurance?

    No. Parsley Health isn’t in-network with any insurance plans, but you can submit a claim on your own. The practice says its members are typically reimbursed for 40% to 70% of the membership cost.

    If you have health insurance, the team will prepare a medical invoice for you after each visit. It includes all the details your insurer needs to process your claim, such as CPT codes for the services performed.

    Can I use my FSA or HSA for my membership or other costs?

    Yes. You can pay for your membership fee, lab tests and supplements using your Flexible Savings Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA).

    Where is Parsley Health available?

    Parsley Health has two flagship offices in New York City and Los Angeles.

    Virtual consultations are available nationwide.

    Pros and cons of Parsley Health

    Pros

    • Holistic approach to health. The practice focuses on functional medicine to prevent chronic conditions in the long-term.
    • Hour-long appointments with health professionals. Doctors and health coaches spend 60 minutes or more with their patients.
    • Streamlined online portal. You can book appointments, review your records and communicate with your doctor via the Member Dashboard.
    • Free 3-week trial. Parsley Health recently introduced a free trial, which includes one visit with a health coach and a health plan.
    • Diverse team. The practice is made up of US board-accredited doctors and certified health coaches with training in nutrition and biomarker testing.

    Cons

    • Doesn’t cover urgent care. Unlike its competitors in the membership medicine space, Parsley Health can’t treat urgent care conditions, like colds, fevers and allergic reactions.
    • It’s expensive. While similar services charge $150 a year, that’s the cost of Parsley Health’s cheapest monthly membership.
    • No insurance plans accepted. You can submit a claim on your own for potential reimbursement, but the practice doesn’t directly accept health insurance.
    • Long response time. You can expect a reply to your messages or questions in 1-2 business days.

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    Parsley Health reviews and complaints

    Parsley Health doesn’t have a presence on the Better Business Bureau or Trustpilot, but it has 4.7 out of 5 stars on Google. Reviewers like communicating with their doctor or health coach between visits and the practice’s focus on finding — and fixing — underpinning health issues. But they mentioned that most communication happens online rather than over the phone and that some doctors and health coaches recommend too many supplements and lab tests.

    The practice has received positive reviews from publications like Forbes, Fast Company and Tech Crunch for its innovative model.

    How to sign up for a Parsley Health membership

    To become a member:

    1. Go to Parsley Health’s site.
    2. On the homepage, click Plans & Pricing.
    3. Select your plan: Free Trial, Complete Care or The Program.
    4. Enter your personal and contact details, and basic information about your health and medical history.
    5. Input your payment details.

    Once your payment has been processed, you can log into your member portal and start using the services.

    What happens after I sign up?

    Parsley Health recommends scheduling your first visit as soon as possible so your doctor and health coach can begin creating your personalized care plan. You’ll need to fill out a comprehensive online questionnaire before the appointment — and you can expect personal and unusual questions about your childhood, eating habits and sex life.

    Frequently asked questions

    Expert review

    Katia Iervasi

    Review by


    Katia Iervasi is a staff writer who hails from Australia and now calls New York home. Her writing and analysis has been featured on sites like Forbes, Best Company and Financial Advisor around the world. Armed with a BA in Communication and a journalistic eye for detail, she navigates insurance and finance topics for Finder, so you can splash your cash smartly (and be a pro when the subject pops up at dinner parties).

    Expert review

    Since its launch in 2016, Parsley Health has grown in popularity as patients demand a more personalized approach to healthcare. With a functional medicine foundation, it focuses on preventing illness and helping people manage conditions they already have. It allows patients to see a doctor and health coach regularly, and communicate with them online between appointments.

    But a membership will set you back at least $150 a month, and there are only physical offices in two major cities. Plus, the practice doesn’t accept insurance or cover urgent care.

    If you’re dealing with a chronic condition or want to avoid prescriptions and explore alternative ways to manage your health, Parsley Health may be worth the high fee. But if you’re looking for a PCP or live outside of NY and LA, you may want to compare membership medicine companies.

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