Telehealth Platform Reports $13.7 Billion Loss

27 Feb, 2023 F.J. Thomas

                               

Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – While telemedicine was available prior to the pandemic, the pandemic certainly ushered in a new acceptance and use of healthcare accomplished virtually. Not only did the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services expand their coverage, but according to a December report from Risk & Insurance, at least 30 states expanded their workers compensation coverage for telemedicine. 

While improving access to care, cost savings, and saving time are clear benefits of virtual care, telemedicine certainly hasn’t been without fault. With federal audits reporting multiple billing errors, and studies showing telehealth may not always be the best option for follow-up care, telemedicine has received scrutiny within the last year. To add insult to injury, a recent report on one of the top virtual platforms causes one to question if whether or not telemedicine is actually sustainable. 

According to Medtech Founder, the number of telehealth claims is 38 times greater than what it was before the pandemic. With such increase, the telemedicine technology industry has grown as well, with a compound annual growth rate of 16.5 percent, and an expected $82 billion in revenue by 2028. Medtech rated Teledoc as the number one telemedicine platform that providers use to connect with their patients virtually. Their ranking was based on ease of enrollment for both physician and patient, strict licensing requirements such as no malpractice claims, catering to certain specialties, as well as technology platform and general ease of use. 

Beginning in 2002 with a base in Dallas Texas, Teledoc now offers several virtual options based on need. BetterHelp is a virtual therapy counseling platform for patients. HealthiestYou is a multi-faceted medical platform that allows subscribers to not only talk with a provider, but get second opinions, find and compare prescription costs as well as insurance, compare procedure pricing, and compare providers. InTouch Health offers a virtual care platform that can be fully integrated with a provider’s electronic health records system. Livongo is a chronic condition management solution with smart devices that track numbers for diabetics, blood pressure, and weight management and then provides coaching or support automatically when the numbers are out of healthy ranges. Teledoc purchased Livongo in 2020.

According to a recent Fierce Healthcare report, Teladoc reported an overall $13.7 billion loss last year that was largely due to its purchase of Livongo. 

Teledoc reported a fourth quarter revenue increase of 15 percent at $637.7 million, and a full year revenue growth of 18 percent at $2,406.8 million. A 6 percent increase in revenue was seen in their Integrated Care module, which earned $357.1 million. Revenue for their therapy platform, BetterHelp, increased 29 percent earning $277.0 million. While still an increase, the overall revenue fell short of forecasted totals. 

Due to their purchase of Livongo, Teledoc was hit with a noncash goodwill impairment charge of $13.4 billion last year. Overall, Teledoc reported a net loss of $3.8 billion just in the fourth quarter of last year, equating to a drop in share price of $23.49. Purchased for $18.5 billion, Teledoc marketed the acquisition of Livongo as a key strategy for creating one platform that would be able to bring together primary care providers with chronic condition patients. 

More troubling news came in January of this year as the company laid off 300 workers, which equated to 6 percent of its non-clinician employees. At that time the layoff was said to be due to a reduction of redundant jobs that were eliminated in the process of mergers. 

Teledoc is one of the top telemedicine platforms used by not only providers, but employers as well. It will be interesting to see if they can continue to meet the growing demand in this next year. 

 

 


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    About The Author

    • F.J. Thomas

      F.J. Thomas has worked in healthcare business for more than fifteen years in Tennessee. Her experience as a contract appeals analyst has given her an intimate grasp of the inner workings of both the provider and insurance world. Knowing first hand that the industry is constantly changing, she strives to find resources and information you can use.

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