Diabetes

Virta Health: Reverse Your Type 2 Diabetes with Ketogenic Coaching

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The just launched tech company Virta Health can help you reverse your type 2 diabetes, with the help of a ketogenic diet, a mobile app and coaching by nutritionists and doctors.

It’s possible to sign up and pay cash if you’re not on an employer-sponsored health plan. The price has been a bit unclear until now, but appears to be $400 per month for the first year:

diaTribe (dT): How will the individual version of Virta Health be priced?

Virta Health (VH): Most of Virta’s patients come through employer-sponsored health plans, and Virta is covered for those people. For patients who come to Virta directly, we offer an out-of-pocket (cash-pay) option that costs roughly $400 per month for the first year. Virta has both monthly and yearly payment options, and also offers a patient assistance program based on the ability to pay. After you apply online, you’ll receive more information about Virta that includes pricing details, which you can review before scheduling a consultation.

diaTribe: Virta Health: Reversing Type 2 Diabetes with Low-Carb Diets & Coaching

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24 Comments

Top Comments

  1. Jeff C
    Yeah sure, $400/month for what I can get for the price of Dr. Atkin's book and some ketosticks at Walgreens. No one in their right mind would pay one-tenth of this out of their own pocket.

    It's great that mainstream medicine is starting the recognize the benefits of low-carb in reversing T2D and metabolic syndrome, but this is troubling. This seems intended to "medicalize" low-carb so these guys can charge insurance and medicaid for big bucks for their "professional" assistance. If the past is any history, look next for a push to make things like ketosticks prescription only to keep them out of the hands of us amateurs. Of course, the price will skyrocket once availability is restricted. All part of the plan. Peter Attia should be ashamed for lending his name to this.

    The medical industry is heavily responsible for the current epidemic with their destructive nutrition advice and pill for every ailment mentality. Now that common folks apart from them have found something that works, they apparently intend to appropriate it as their own. Of course that will come with their ridiculous inflated costs as their "expertise" ain't cheap. No thanks.

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  2. $400 per month??? Holy ****!!! For an app and a 'health coach'? Are you kidding? At DietDoctor, you get a meal planner and 'Ask the Experts' for $9/ month. That's a savings of 97.7%, by my calculations. I agree with Jeff C. I offer a health coach, too, for $400 USD per YEAR (intensive dietary management program).
    Reply: #17
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All Comments

  1. Jeff C
    Yeah sure, $400/month for what I can get for the price of Dr. Atkin's book and some ketosticks at Walgreens. No one in their right mind would pay one-tenth of this out of their own pocket.

    It's great that mainstream medicine is starting the recognize the benefits of low-carb in reversing T2D and metabolic syndrome, but this is troubling. This seems intended to "medicalize" low-carb so these guys can charge insurance and medicaid for big bucks for their "professional" assistance. If the past is any history, look next for a push to make things like ketosticks prescription only to keep them out of the hands of us amateurs. Of course, the price will skyrocket once availability is restricted. All part of the plan. Peter Attia should be ashamed for lending his name to this.

    The medical industry is heavily responsible for the current epidemic with their destructive nutrition advice and pill for every ailment mentality. Now that common folks apart from them have found something that works, they apparently intend to appropriate it as their own. Of course that will come with their ridiculous inflated costs as their "expertise" ain't cheap. No thanks.

  2. Pat Kenyon
    $400/month?
    NO THANKS.. We have Diet Doctor!
    Who would need this service? Unless they start demanding we take perscriptions to get our weekly shop, they will never be able to medicalise low carb.
  3. Julia
    $4800 US dollars per year??? They obviously only want to help Insured US citizens. A privileged group! So much for wanting to reverse T2DM world-wide! I contacted them late last year and they didn't want to know me. Even if I could afford the mega bucks.
  4. Pierre
    Before bullshitting about Virta Health it would be wise to know what they offer!

    I think is more than a meal plan, it looks like the person is followed by doctors and have access to a coach anytime.

  5. $400 per month??? Holy ****!!! For an app and a 'health coach'? Are you kidding? At DietDoctor, you get a meal planner and 'Ask the Experts' for $9/ month. That's a savings of 97.7%, by my calculations. I agree with Jeff C. I offer a health coach, too, for $400 USD per YEAR (intensive dietary management program).
    Reply: #17
  6. 1 comment removed
  7. paul
    I don't see how they will reach millions of people with that kind of pricing?
  8. Aline
    That seems a very steep price and nearly unaffordable for almost anyone. Maybe 40$ would be reasonable. Even 100$ if that means you get coaching 24/7. Everyone needs to make a living but this seems like a rip-off. It still upsets me a little bit to see how people within the low carb community seem to be suddenly fighting each other instead of working together.
  9. bill
    Okay all you people who are criticizing Virta.

    Those clients who are being helped by this
    system are getting off diabetes medications,
    neuropathy medications and others. How
    much do those medications cost each month?
    Right there $400/month pales in comparison.
    How much is it worth to not have retinopathy
    advance? How much is it worth to have a
    doctor monitor in real time your blood sugar
    along with your medications? What would
    your doctor charge to do the same thing, if
    they even would or could?

    How much is it worth to have a professional
    to answer personal questions and oversee
    your program, not just a few words on a
    blog, but a real discussion with a like-minded
    doctor?

    Do you want others to look at
    what you charge in your business and declare
    that you overcharge people who desperately
    need your services?

    We're all doing what we can.

  10. Mary
    I thought diet doctor's big point was that there are no adverts or sponsorship by interested parties so as to be impartial. On the face of it this is endorsement of a firm selling a product. I will now be seriously reconsidering my membership.
    Reply: #22
  11. Julia
    Bill, in Australia we have a government-subsidised pharmaceutical benefits scheme (aka "socialism" to most Americans) so medications cost a max of around $35 per script per month and around $5 per script per month if you're on a pension etc. so I would say $400 US per month is excessive for medications or for diabetes support.
    Reply: #14
  12. Jennifer
    Maybe $400 is a bit excessive, but this involves individual, daily support, including by a doctor who is monitoring blood sugar and ketones and giving daily feedback. You have to pay for that. If that is what the person needs to turn their life around and go from sick to healthy, maybe it isn't too bad.
  13. Jeff C
    Those defending Virta are missing the point. It wouldn't matter if it saved someone $20K/year in medications, they are charging $4800/year for something most of us have done for virtually nothing. If someone does need coaching (or don't want to take the time to study it themselves) much cheaper alternatives are available as Dr. Fung points out.

    I would be willing to bet that fewer than a couple dozen people actually sign up to pay this out of their own pocket. The point of these exorbitant fees is to get them established as the norm so they can justify bilking insurance companies and the government once this becomes the standard of care. They are attempting to take low carb/keto and turn it into a medical "treatment", and along with that comes the ridiculously inflated prices of US health care, of course.

    The truth regarding low carb's ability to reverse T2D is now undeniable and the medical industry knows it. They need to change tactics or they will completely lose credibility. We'll likely soon start hearing how low carb/keto is "very effective but can be extremely dangerous unless medically-supervised". That will clear the way to for the US medical industry to take it over. Virta looks like the opening shot to me.

  14. bill
    Good for Australia!
    AFAIK Virta is getting their referrals from
    U.S. clients. and $400/month in medications
    is commonly low.

    No everyone can do it on their own.

    No bilking involved.

  15. bill
    "Not everyone..."
  16. Gentiann
    I guess that people who are chocked by the cost of $400 are not familiar with the outrageously expensive American health care system.......Believe me $400 is cheap for this kind of service in the US.
    The average American diabetic patient spends probably close to $1000 a month on care and medications.....even if covered with insurance because of very high deductibles that can be as high as $12000 a year.
    The fact is this inefficient system of multiple private insurances creates a huge and very costly bureaucracy that keeps prices very high.
  17. To be fair I believe what they offer is way beyond what we're able to do, when it comes to personalised advice by coaches and physicians. It's not even close really. So I don't think comparing prices is fair, as it's a whole other level of support.

    Their prices will likely come down over time, and they'll likely offer lower-priced, less exclusive services to suit more people.

  18. bill
    Dr. E:

    Well played...

  19. Apicius
    Does anyone know what the cost of Dr Bernstein weight loss clinic programs are? Aren't they given similar support and advice. I don't think it's $400 per month. But I can be misinformed.
  20. James
    I have a call scheduled for Friday, although it very unlikely I will 'bite.' Here's what an email I received said.
    Virta has two payment options for patients, with a minimum commitment of 12 months.

    Option 1: Lump sum annual payment
    $4,500 for year 1, paid up front
    Subsequent years are reduced to $2,250 paid annually

    Option 2: Initiation fee and monthly payments
    $370 paid monthly for year 1, with a $500 initiation fee up front
    Subsequent years are reduced to $199 paid monthly, with no initiation fee

    Kind regards,
    xxx

  21. Nils
    Reading the comments here makes me a bit sad. There are many of us who are fighting hard everyday to push through the norms formed in great extent by the sugar industry that are currently making people sick and depressed.
    Here is a company that has the right idea, treating diabetes at its core by providing information and support on a ketogenic lifestyle. Sure it might sound expensive, but lets face it, there needs to be a profitable future for these kind of companies in order for the "keto industry" to really take off. Profitability and money is key to this paradigm shift.
    And also, I love the fact that there are all these different alternatives out there. If you can do great by just reading the information on dietdoctor.com and through that change your life then that is awesome, but for someone else who needs more support this can be the best investment they ever make.
    I also would like to point out i'm not affiliated with either party here, I'm just a normal guy who would like to see this paradigm shift take place and for that we all need to pull in the same direction!
    /Nils
  22. gbl
    Virta will be asiduously monitoring and documenting results in the scientifically accepted manner, and I would expect, be peer reviewed publishing on it. That's exactly what must happen and hasn't to date. Fact. Science.
  23. Tim
    The science was proven a 100 years ago. A well known treatment then...How hard is it to eat unprocessed low carb food only and fast as required?
    If they want to publish peer reviewed stuff, and re-invent the wheel, let them pay for it.
  24. Anne-Marie
    How does this company plan to get blood tests on electrolytes without a prescribing doctor somewhere near the patient ? With Atkins, unbalanced electrolytes were a serious risk if I recall correctly, so monitoring, recognition of symptoms and guidance are important.

    Whilst I'm at it here : can anyone recommend a doctor who can help me with keto in Belgium? Any language OK with me.

    Reply: #25
  25. Jenai
    Virta works with the patients local physician and labs are drawn locally and then sent to the Virta physician for review. It is a combined team effort between Virta and the patient's local physician to work to heal the metabolism and turn the diabetes around.

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