CirrusMD vs. Nurse-1-1 | Product Comparison


Choosing a virtual care solution is a critical decision for health plans. While there are many options out there, in this article we’ll help you understand the difference between CirrusMD and Nurse-1-1.  A quick summary—you probably can’t go wrong with either option. Both CirrusMD and Nurse-1-1 are focused on offering health plan members a seamless virtual care solution that empowers them to make better healthcare decisions. Let’s first focus on what they both offer.

Chat-first approach

Both CirrusMD and Nurse-1-1 offer virtual care experiences with easy, chat-first services. Texting allows your members to access care wherever they are, without having to find a private place to make a call or to be presentable enough to have a video chat on camera. Text also allows members to send photos that can’t be sent over the phone or may be hard to share on a video chat. 

Chat is asynchronous in its form of communication. It allows both your members and the provider to share information after thinking about it longer than one would while in a phone call or video call. Pauses in text-based chat are expected, while pausing and thinking about an answer on a phone or video call can create an awkward silence that leaves your members questioning the information they are being given.  

Personal touch with live healthcare professionals

Both CirrusMD and Nurse-1-1 connect people to a healthcare provider in seconds with secure and HIPAA-compliant websites and apps. 

Allowing people to live chat with a healthcare professional creates a real conversation that influences proper decision making. While bots typically end with a few recommendations for your members, both CirrusMD and Nurse-1-1 will continue the conversation until there is reassurance and an understanding in the recommendation that is given. This requires empathy, compassion, trust, and influence that only a live experienced healthcare professional can bring. 

Built-in Provider Networks

Both CirrusMD and Nurse-1-1 offer their own networks of expert providers who can chat with your members if you do not have the capacity or the providers available to support your virtual care solution. Both CirusMD and Nurse-1-1 are also both flexible to also allow you to integrate with your own provider network or call center if that is preferred. 

ED Diversions

Studies have shown that up to 71% of ED visits are unnecessary, avoidable. One study showed that nurses at telephone triage call centers prevented 2 out of every 3 ER visits or 1 ER visit out of 7 calls. Another study reported a cost reduction of £4,520,000 (USD $5,571,962) from reduced ambulance dispatch. And yet another study reported a 38% reduction in primary care appointments and a 23% reduction in home visits

Furthermore, another study reported a reduction in workload of 54% compared with the previous 3 months and that nurses were able to handle 26% of requests for GP appointments by telephone, whereas another study reported a 39% reduction in demand 

The data strongly supports the use of nurses and advice lines to help patients make proper use of a healthcare service that ultimately reduces costs drastically. 

Improved access to care

Both CirrusMD and Nurse-1-1 allow your members to chat without making appointments. Your members are connected 24/7 whenever they have a question or are making an important healthcare decision. 

With no appointments necessary and no need to find a private place to talk, care can truly happen from anywhere. When conversation isn’t time bound, your members share information and providers ask questions more completely, delivering more confident diagnoses and care guidance.

With both CirrusMD and Nurse-1-1, your members do not pay for the service. CirrusMD and Nurse-1-1 are cost-free solutions for your members. The cost is handled by the entity offering the solution (like an employer group, health plan, university, community health program, etc.) And these groups find it to be cost effective vs. the alternatives. Compared to other telemedicine solutions, this approach is almost completely unheard of in this industry. 

A few ways CirrusMD and Nurse-1-1 may differ in their approach

Integration with existing Urgent Care, Primary Care, and Hospital Systems

Nurse-1-1 has partnerships with urgent care clinics and primary care, and is working with hospital systems to leverage its platform. The industry trend is for payers and providers to work together to offer the proper value to members and patients. Nurse-1-1 recognizes this strategy and has created a platform that works with both types of entities. Providers use Nurse-1-1 to provide patients with an improved experience and keep patients in-network and out of emergency rooms when it isn’t necessary.  

By offering its service to both providers and payers, Nurse-1-1 ensures all parties who share the cost burden to offer care to members and work together in an integrated solution. 

Starting with a Google Search

Patients start their journey with a Google search. Google receives more than 1 billion health questions every day. Yeah, ONE BILLION with a “B”.  That is 70,000 each minute! These are your members who turn first to Google and sites like WebMD. These searches that increase anxiety. Nurse-1-1 offers a solution to intervene at this stage, and influence patients away from making irrational and expensive healthcare decisions.   

You need to be where your patients are as they start their illness journeys. Being present as early as possible in this journey allows you to foster these relationships and exert the most influence in their decision-making process. Nurse-1-1 actively conducts local outreach campaigns to target nearby patients as they search for answers. The offer to simply “chat with a nurse” for free, is a low-friction no brainer for them. We frequently engage your members at the moment they need you the most. Our smart routing can then filter and route the appropriate patients and concerns to nurses who can help. 


Text-based approaches allow this level of care to scale, as it fits perfectly into most providers’ workflows. Nurse-1-1’s approach of providing health information without the overhead of telemedicine services allows its service to operate at a fraction of the price of other platforms. Nurse-1-1 is FREE to your members. The cost to your organization is only $12.50 per member chat session. Many third party call centers charge $20 to $30, and most telemedicine services charge $40 to $100 for a video consultation, while still charging the patient an additional fee. Nurse-1-1’s $12.50 price point is a much better deal, while offering the exact service your organization and members need.

We are always interested in talking to progressive organizations about how we can help improve member experience while also cutting costs.  If this sounds interesting, please reach out.  We’d love to tell you more!