How does Clear Skin Concierge work?
Clear Skin Concierge is a virtual medical service that lets patients with acne or fine aging lines consult with a board-certified dermatologist. That means you no longer have to make appointments a month ahead, drive across town, or find parking to get great, accurate medical information.
You just use your electronic device.
On the other side of that device are our physicians: board-certified dermatologist Deborah Goddard, MD, trained at the University of California, San Francisco, and internist Minh Nguyen, trained at Stanford’s community hospital.
They are superstars. They’re completely dedicated to providing you personalized care and helping you achieve clear skin easily and effectively.
Together, we’ve built a highly personalized approach to online acne treatment.
What do I need in order to consult with Clear Skin Concierge?
- A computer or tablet and an email account.
- A few seconds to tell us about your skin condition on our site.
- Photos of your skin condition, to help us confirm your diagnosis (you can upload photos from your computer/tablet or use a webcam). We also need a photo of your driver’s license to prevent identity theft (you have to show this at a doctor’s office too).
- The pharmacy where you’d like to get your meds (or you can choose from Koshland Pharmacy, a top-shelf compounding pharmacy partner in San Francisco, for your cosmetic medications).
Who is performing my consultation?
- Dr. Deborah Goddard, board-certified dermatologist licensed in the state of California. Learn more about Deborah Goddard, MD
- Dr. Minh Nguyen, board-certified internist licensed in the state of California. Learn more about Minh Nguyen, MD
I’m still not convinced. How do I know you guys aren’t a bunch of medical students in Kiev who built a website last week?
First, we love Kiev. But no, we’re real, dedicated, California-based small business owners. We’re part of the National Associated Boards of Pharmacy® e-Advertiser program.
That’s a 16-point inspection program covering privacy and medical standard of care that makes mortgage approval and root canals seem easy.
This means we’ve met the standards set by National Associated Boards of Pharmacy® for licensure, controlled substance registration, prior discipline, location, validity of prescription, legal compliance, privacy, patient services, website transparency, domain name registration, and affiliated websites.
How much does my consultation cost?
$29. Lower than many insurance co-pays, this fee covers our reviewing your case, and our physician electronically sending the prescriptions to your local pharmacy!
You also email with our doctors regarding any questions or concerns for 3 months. (Note that this fee does not cover the cost of your medications.)
You can pay by Paypal or credit card.
What do I get with my $29 consultation?
- A diagnosis and personalized treatment recommendations. The medication costs are separate, but we also work hard to find you the lowest prices every week.
- If your treatment plan includes a prescription (which it almost always does), we electronically submit your prescriptions to your preferred local pharmacy, where you can pick up your medications at your convenience. If you want medications mailed, we have partners who do this at pretty low prices.
- Detailed instructions and secrets for how to use the medications to get the best results possible.
- 3 months of ongoing access to our physician, including secure email messaging for any questions or concerns.
- Money-back guarantee. If you are not satisfied for any reason, we’ll refund your payment in full.
- For first-time customers, we can provide video consultations and send notes to your primary physician, just as recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology.
How fast will I hear back from the physician once I submit my consultation request?
Usually within 48 business hours, unless it’s an emergency. This means if you write us on a Friday, it will often be Monday before you hear back. Sometimes we are able to work a little Saturday magic, especially if we are snowed in somewhere. But usually two full business days.
Will I always get a prescription medication from Clear Skin Concierge?
No, not always. If your skin condition doesn’t require prescription medications for treatment, then we won’t prescribe them and we won’t charge you!
Also, if we can’t tell what skin condition you have from photos, or think you may have a more serious skin condition, we will recommend a doctor local to you. This careful evaluation is in line with the recent recommendations of the American Academy of Dermatology. If you give us the contact information, we are also set up to share your information with your primary doctor.
We take your specified preferences about treatment options very seriously and try to accommodate your requests. Make sure to let us know if you really like a certain medication or have ones you would like to avoid. There are live, thoughtful doctors on the other end.
What prescription medications can I get through Clear Skin Concierge?
We generally prescribe low-cost generic medications to keep costs down. Our options include:
- Medications applied to the skin: clindamycin, erythromycin, tretinoin topicals.
- Medications taken by mouth: doxycycline tablets.
Where will I get my cosmetic prescription medications?
Unless you have a special request, cosmetic medications get mailed to you from Koshland Pharmacy, in San Francisco.
We chose Koshland for a number of reasons, including their incredible customer service. What we probably like the best is that they compound their medications using a high-quality process that makes them feel and perform like $200 department store brands.
You should know: we don’t get a cut of their sales. So we really recommend them only because we think they’re great.
Can I get my prescriptions from Canada or India?
We love international travel.
But we go with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy® recommendations to use accredited pharmacies in the United States. This protects you from medications whose sources are unclear, while still allowing lower cost generic drugs.
What happens if my recommended medication(s) cause side effects?
If you experience side effects from any medications we recommend to you, send us a private email and we will help you address them or find a local doctor. This may involve changing how you’re using the medication, or alternatively, prescribing a new medication for you, free of charge.
In order to get a Clear Skin Concierge consultation, where do I have to live and how old do I have to be?
As of now, we are only licensed to provide care to residents of California. If you live outside California, we are sorry that we can’t take care of you now. We generally provide care to people who are 18 years of age or older. But if you are trying to treat your child, drop us an email and we’ll see what we can do!
If I have questions after my consultation, how can I contact my physician?
Simply log in to your account and send a private message to our physician.
What happens if I am not satisfied?
If you are not satisfied for any reason, we will refund your consultation fee, no questions asked. In fact, if you stall in our program and don’t get your meds, and we detect this, we’ll refund your money. Crazy, right?
What happens when my 3-month subscription runs out?
When your subscription runs out, you’re notified by email and you have the option of renewing your subscription. At that time, you can either continue your previous treatment regimen or you can request a new regimen.
Is this legally a real medical visit?
Clear Skin Concierge Medical Services, Inc’s telemedicine service is available to residents in California. This service is legal in California but may not be legal in other states. As such, the service is only offered to residents of the state listed and only uses clinicians who are licensed in this state to prescribe medication through the telemedicine resources offered on our website. Patients should be advised that, as a board-approved telemedicine practice, Clear Skin Concierge Medical Services, Inc’s telemedicine service does not prescribe medication pursuant to a standard patient-prescriber relationship, which requires the following to have been established: a) The patient has a legitimate medical complaint; b) A face-to-face physical examination adequate to establish the legitimacy of the medical complaint has been performed by the prescribing practitioner; and c) A logical connection exists between the medical complaint, the medical history, and the physical examination and the drug prescribed.
Can I be seen in-person by my Clear Skin Concierge doctor?
At this time, Clear Skin Concierge consultations are only provided online, using email as the primary form of communication. If you prefer to be seen in-person, we advise that you contact your primary care provider or a local dermatologist. If you have issues and need to be seen locally, we will work on finding a doctor we trust closer to you.
Does Clear Skin Concierge offer care for skin conditions other than acne and fine aging lines?
As of now, Clear Skin Concierge consultations are not available for skin conditions other than acne and fine aging lines. If you have a skin condition that you’d like us to help you with, please send us an email using our ‘Contact Us’ button at top right!
What are Clear Skin Concierge’s privacy practices?
The responsibilities of Clear Skin Concierge Medical Corporation
We are required by law to maintain privacy of your protected health information (PHI). PHI is made of up of individually identifiable health information, which may include demographic information we collect from you that relates to A) your past, present or future physical or mental health condition; B) the provision of health care to you; or C) the past, present or future payment for the provision of health care to you. Clear Skin Concierge does NOT receive data regarding your health from a health plan, an employer, or a health care clearinghouse.
Clear Skin Concierge must provide you with notice of our legal duties with regard to PHI. We are required to abide by the terms of our Notice of Privacy Practices here, which are currently in effect. At the same time, we reserve the right to modify our privacy practices in regard to PHI and make new privacy policies applicable to all PHI we store. Our current Notice of Privacy Practices will be posted on our website in the FAQ section and also be required for your review before affirming consent to be treated by our physicians. An electronic or paper copy of this notice will be provided to any patient on request, which must be made through our online “CONTACT US” system while logged in as a patient.
Examples of uses and disclosures of your PHI related to treatment, payment and operations
HIPAA privacy regulations give us the right to use and disclose your PHI without your consent to carry out i) treatment, ii) payment and iii) health care operations. Following are some examples of how we intend to use your PHI in regard to these activities.
Treatment. In connection with your treatment, we will, for example, use and disclose your PHI to provide, coordinate or manage your health care and related services. We will disclose your PHI to other providers whom you have authorized to treat you.
Payment. We will your PHI to obtain payment for our services, including using the records to justify credit card payments you have made to our service. The PHI will include items such as description of your condition(s), our treatment, your diagnoses, supplies and drugs that were prescribed.
Health care operations. We will use your PHI to support our commercial functions, such as allowing our auditors, consultants or attorneys to access your PHI to audit our claims to determine if we have billed you accurately for the services we provided to you, or to send information about you to third party business associates so that they may perform necessary operations.
Description of other required or permitted uses and disclosures of your PHI
Contact regarding medications. We will email you to remind you of medications that have been prescribed. To check on your medical progress we may call your residence, office or other numbers we have on file. We will not include identifying medical information in emails.
As required by law. We will disclose your PHI when required by federal, state or local law. For example we may receive a subpoena for which we are required by law to provide copies of your medical file.
To avert a serious threat to public health or safety. We will use and disclose your PHI to public health authorities permitted to collect or receive the information for the purpose of controlling disease, injury or disability. If directed by a health authority, we will also disclose your health information to a foreign government agency that is collaborating with the public health authority.
Inmates. If you are an inmate, we will disclose your PHI to a correctional institution or law enforcement official only if you are an inmate of that correctional institution or under the custody of the law enforcement official. This information would be necessary for the institution to provide you with health care; to protect the health and safety of others; or for the safety and security of the correctional institution
Business services. We may use your PHI to emails you with information about treatment or pricing alternatives relevant to your condition. However you have the right to opt out of primarily commercial communication using the opt-out option on these emails. We will not opt out email reminders regarding end of your subscription signaling completion of the physician-patient relationship.
Uses and disclosures to which you have an opportunity to object
Others involved in your care. Because Clear Skin Concierge requires consent of both minors and their parents involved in treatment, withdrawal of consent on either part will terminate communication of health information of the minor to the parent and conclude the physician-patient relationship.
Uses and disclosures that require your signed authorization
There are certain uses and disclosures of your PHI that require your written authorization. For example, most uses and disclosures of psychotherapy notes (where appropriate), uses and disclosures of PHI for marketing purpose, and disclosures that constitute a sale of PHI require your signed authorization. Also, any use or disclosure of your PHI not described in this Notice requires your signed authorization.
Your right to revoke your authorization
If you sign an authorization allowing us to use or disclose your PHI outside of the uses and disclosures made in this Notice, you may revoke that authorization by advising us in writing with a private message in the Contact Us section of our website, while logged in as a patient. Your revocation will become effective as soon as we are reasonably able to enter it into our records, which is typically within 5 business days after we receive the letter. Your revocation will not affect our prior reliance on your authorization prior to the effective date of revocation.
Notification in case of breach of PHI
In the event of an unauthorized or improper use or disclosure of your PHI (also known as “a breach”), you have the right to receive a description of the circumstances surrounding the breach, what we have done to investigate and mitigate it, and how best to protect yourself.
Patient rights related to PHI
In addition to your other rights enumerated here, you have the right to:
Request an amendment. You have the right to request we amend your medical information if you feel that it is incomplete or inaccurate. You must make this request using the Contact Us section of our website while logged in as a patient. You must also state what information is inaccurate or incomplete and the reasoning supporting the request. We are permitted to deny the request if it is not in writing or does not include a valid supporting reason.
Request restrictions. You have the right to request a restriction of how we use or disclose your medical information for treatment, payment or health care operations. For example you could request that we not disclose information about a prior treatment to a family member who may be involved in your payment for care. Your request must be made using the Contact Us section of our website while logged in as a patient. We are not required to agree with your request. If we do agree, we will company with your request except for emergency treatment.
Inspect and copy. You have the right to inspect and copy the PHI we maintain for as long as we maintain that information. This record set includes your medical and billing records. We may charge you a fee for the costs of copying, mailing or other supplies used in fulfilling your request. If you wish to copy or inspect your PHI, you must submit your request made using the Contact Us section of our website while logged in as a patient. We will have 30 days to respond to said request. HITECH expands this right, giving individuals the right to access their own e-health record in an electronic format if we maintain your records in an electronic format and to direct us to send the e-health records directly to a third party. We may only charge for labor costs under electronic transfers of e-health records.
An accounting of disclosures. You have the right to request a list of the disclosures of your PHI not for treatment, payment or health care operations. Your request must be in writing, must state the time period covered, and cannot request a period of time greater than six years (our legal obligation to retain information). Your first request for such a list within a 12-month period will be free. Additional lists may incur a fee for the costs of fulfilling the request. We will notify you of such costs and afford you the opportunity to withdraw the request before costs are incurred.
Request confidential communications. You have the right to request how we communicate with you to preserve your privacy. For example you may request that we only email a specific address. Your request must be made using the Contact Us section of our website while logged in as a patient. We will accommodate all reasonable requests. We will not accommodate a request perceived as an attempt to alter your payment obligations.
File a complaint. If you feel your medical information has been treated improperly or your privacy right violated, you may complain to Clear Skin Concierge Medical Corporation and to the Secretary of USDHHS (below). Complaints to Clear Skin Concierge must be made using the Contact Us section of our website while logged in as a patient, within 180 days of the suspected violation. Provide as much as detail as you can about the suspected violation. No patient will be retaliated against for making a complaint.
Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services
US Department of Health & Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington DC 20201
202 619 0257 (toll-free) 877 696 6775
A paper copy of this notice. You have the right to receive a paper copy of this notice upon request. You may obtain a copy by asking for it.
Contact person. We strongly recommend contacting our Privacy Officer, Dr. Minh Nguyen, using our private messaging system while logged in as a patient, to maximize security. In urgent cases, you may use the Contact link at the bottom of our homepage: please address privacy concerns to “Privacy Officer”.
Date of notice. This notice is effective 3/30/2015.
Where are you based in California?
We have offices at 107 Melville Ave, Palo Alto, 94301 and 2240 S. Beverly Glen Blvd #301, Los Angeles, 90054. We can be reached at 424-256-5699 for business questions. For medical issues, the CONTACT US link on your account is most efficient in reaching us quickly.