Bolstered by patients turning to virtual care during the Covid-19 pandemic, Teladoc saw the number of visits double in the first quarter of 2020. The company plans to see the trend continue for the rest of the year, according to an outlook it shared with investors on Wednesday.

For the quarter ending on March 31, Teladoc saw 2.04 million telehealth visits, nearly double the 1.06 million it saw during the same quarter last year. Next quarter, the company plans to see a total of 2.3 million to 2.4 million visits, and for the full year, a total of 8 million to 9 million visits.

By comparison, the company saw 4.14 million visits in 2019 and 2.64 million visits in 2018.

Teladoc is also expecting significant growth in the number of paid members that have access to its services. The company primarily contracts with health plans and large employers, such as Aetna, United Healthcare, Accenture and T-Mobile. If they are not covered, patients can pay a fee to access a doctor.

In an earnings call, CEO Jason Gorevic said the company had seen more requests from potential clients looking to expand access to virtual healthcare.

“During the first quarter alone, we onboarded over 6 million new paid members in the U.S. across government and commercial populations. And we anticipate onboarding an additional 6 million to 7 million new members during the second quarter, culminating in the strongest first half membership growth in company history,” he said.

At the end of March, Teladoc saw its paid membership increase by more than 60% to 43 million paid members. It also saw a big increase in the number of people who access its services through visit fees, up 88.7% to 19.2 million. By the end of 2020, it expects to have more than 50 million paid members.

Gorevic was also confident that people who had used Teladoc’s services would continue to return after the pandemic ends.

“As I look forward, there are three major areas where there have been significant changes. One, among consumers awareness and adoption around virtual care and the willingness to shift how they’ve done things for generations to a new way of accessing care,” he said. “And certainly that’s not just for healthcare. It’s true across the entire spectrum of how people interact. Healthcare just happens to have been a fairly sticky one.”

He also said physicians and hospital systems, some of which had been reluctant to move to virtual care, are now “vigorously embracing” it. With employers and health plans, Gorevic said they’re thinking about virtual care more broadly across all specialties, rather than just the typical avenues for coughs, colds and other common conditions.

“If I look out five years, I would say virtual care will be ubiquitous. It’ll be just another methodology for how people access care,” Gorevic said. “And that opens up tremendous opportunities for us both to deliver that care as well as using our technology to enable that care for providers in the market.”

Teladoc reported revenues of $180.8 million in the first quarter, up 41%. The company is still operating at a net loss, reporting a deficit of $29.6 million in the first quarter.

Photo credit: Teladoc



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