How It Works
A solid clinical foundation
While much remains to be learned about Long COVID, our approach is rooted in extensive experience with many conditions that can occur with Long COVID, such as:
RTHM integrates scientific discovery into the fabric of clinical care. You get access to the latest treatments and help accelerate scientific and clinical advancements in Long COVID.
Conditions and Symptoms Treated
Cognitive dysfunction and brain fog
Autoimmunity & immune dysregulation
Shortness of breath
Endocrine and metabolic issues
Expertise in post-viral illness and ME/CFS
RTHM brought on post-viral illness & ME/CFS expert Jennifer M. Curtin MD from Center for Complex Diseases to write up clinical guidance for, help train, and continue to support RTHMs Long COVID providers so our patients are in good hands. Dr. Curtin recovered from ME/CFS and has POTS herself so she brings both a patient & provider’s perspective to the table.
Dr. Curtin finished her Internal Medicine residency at UC Irvine in 2016 and has been primarily treating patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and conditions that frequently overlap, like POTS, MCAS, small fiber polyneuropathy, autoimmune conditions, fibromyalgia, etc. for the past 6 years.
Jennifer M. Curtin MD Chief Medical Officer
Frequently asked questions
Yes, we are accepting patients 16 years and older! Those under age 18 will need a parent or legal guardian’s consent to become a RTHM patient and will be seen by our amazing Nurse Practitioner, Allana Bush. Our incredible Dr. Stuart Malcolm will be seeing patients 18 and older. We are looking to expand access to ages 6 through 15 very shortly.
Yes, we accept patients who developed Long COVID symptoms after vaccination as well as after infection! We are interested in the mechanisms behind “vaccine long haul” and how they are similar and different from “infection-induced long haul.” At RTHM, we feel it’s our duty to help the people who got the vaccine to help protect themselves and those around them and then suffered ill effects.
No, not at this time.
We are also unable to accept patients with Kaiser Permanente, VA or TriCare, and certain Medicare health insurance plans because such plans generally do not cover labs, procedures, imaging, referrals and treatments ordered by clinicians who are not within their respective organizations.
We are not contracted or in network with any health insurance provider at this time.
During the consultation, you and your provider will review your medical history & symptoms and determine what labs and testing are needed, and any specialist referrals. Visit two with your provider occurs when all or most of the lab results are back so they can be reviewed with you and the best protocols for treatments, and any additional testing or referrals.
Visit two is generally where your provider will order any prescriptions or supplements that are part of your plan through our partner pharmacies or supplement distributors. You pay your prescription invoice & our partnered pharmacy and/or supplement distributor fills your prescription order & ships directly to you. Our partner pharmacy will charge you the GoodRX coupon price if your insurance doesn’t cover a medication. If the medication costs >$50 despite the coupon & it is helping your symptoms, we will submit an insurance prior authorization to try and get the medication covered for the following month, however, prior authorizations for off label use of medications may often be denied – we cannot guarantee insurance coverage, just work with you to try to reduce medication costs and find any alternatives as best we can.
Lab tests will be covered by your insurance in most cases. For visit costs, we are not currently in-network with any health insurance carriers and are not able to bill insurers for the cost of provider visits at this time, so the costs listed above are out of pocket.
However, we are actively working on becoming in-network with several health insurance carriers to cover visit costs and will share updates as they become available.
Your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Spending Account (HSA) can be used to pay for any costs associated with your care through RTHM – (i.e. monthly subscription costs, lab work, imaging, procedures or other testing, medications, etc.).
Yes! RTHM can provide you with superbills for your visits if you wish to try to get some of the costs reimbursed on your own through your out-of-network insurance benefits.
This answer depends on your individual insurance plan, as each has different laboratory testing coverage policies & rates. Generally, our providers order labs through Quest Diagnostics if Quest offers them in your area because Quest is contracted with many major insurance plans. If Quest is a contracted lab for your insurance plan, the labs ordered by your RTHM provider through Quest should be covered in accordance with the policies of your individual insurance plan (since Quest is the one that bills your insurance for the labs, not RTHM). Your deductible and co-pays may still apply to lab costs.
Then, unfortunately we will not be able to have you join RTHM as a patient.
The labs we order can be quite expensive and are generally not affordable without insurance coverage.
Yes, within reason. If you have a specific budget you need to stay within per month, you can discuss this with your RTHM care team and they can opt to test for one or two issues at a time, and treat those, test for the next 1-2, treat those, and so on. Generally a minimum monthly budget of $600-800 is going to be needed to cover the combination of labs, visits, and therapies one would need to make progress in a reasonable amount of time. Because there are no FDA-approved tests or treatments for Long COVID currently, all treatments are considered “off label” or “experimental” for Long COVID and are rarely (if ever) covered by insurance. Expect to have to pay out of pocket for treatments.
Our goal is to change this, but that goal will take time and data to be able to make the case to insurers that certain tests and treatments for Long COVID should be covered.
You can, but it will be a lot of blood to have drawn at one time, so we’d generally recommend breaking it over 1-3 draw appointments, especially if you get dizzy or lightheaded easily or know that you tend to become more symptomatic after blood draws.
Generally, no. Membership fees help us cover some of the research costs and wages for our support staff, so they are non-refundable. However, since RTHM provider visits are on a fee for service basis, you do not need to schedule any further visits if you are feeling great or if you decide RTHM isn’t a good fit. In either case, please do let our customer support know about your experience! We want your experience to be a good one, so please let us know where we are doing well and where we can do better.
Yes, we will soon have a needs-based assistance page with options.
First of all, thank you! You can donate to support the costs of visits and treatments for RTHM patients who need your help soon! We will share the link here when available. Your deduction will be 100% tax deductible and you will receive the appropriate documentation thanks to our incredible charity organization sponsor, ErasePTSDnow.org. ErasePTSDnow was really struck by how many people with Long COVID have medical PTSD, so they generously agreed to manage and distribute funds on a needs-based basis that are donated for RTHM’s Long COVID patients using their non-profit charter. It would have taken RTHM ~9 months to get a non-profit charter of our own, so ErasePTSD’s generosity has allowed us to start supporting our Long COVID patients right away!