Facing headwinds, Teladoc tests its bet on whole-person care

“In recent months, executives have touted Teladoc as a source for “whole-person care” — a bid to distinguish it from smaller virtual companies addressing only one condition, or those who largely make money by facilitating prescriptions. The company offers primary care, urgent care, and virtual appointments, coaching, and disease management for chronic diseases such as diabetes and for mental health conditions.

About a third of patients in Teladoc’s chronic care programs are using more than one — and that number has grown year-over-year and sequentially, executives said during a Wednesday earning call. Earlier this year, Teladoc unrolled its integrated care app; it also recently sponsored a clinical study it said demonstrated that patients enrolled in multiple chronic care programs simultaneously showed more improvement in A1c levels, systolic blood pressure and weight compared to patients  in one single program. [..]

“Providing access to medication alone is not enough when it comes to patient outcomes and safety,” Teladoc CEO Jason Gorevic said during Wednesday’s earning call. “We’re now offering integrated virtual and digital programs across all our key chronic condition programs.” [..]

Asked if the burgeoning market for mental health care companies posed an increased threat to Teladoc, Gorevic said the company hadn’t seen a significant increase in the cost of acquiring new customers or the yield for advertising dollars, suggesting that it isn’t a significantly more competitive environment than it had been previously.

As Congress extends Medicare reimbursement flexibilities for telehealth at least until 2024, the success of  virtual care companies will hinge largely on whether they can get customers to pay and whether they can generate a return, potentially by making care cheaper or higher quality, RBC Capital Markets analyst Sean Dodge wrote in a note.”

Full article, M Ravindranath, STAT News, 2023.4.26