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Teladoc CEO Says Telehealth Has Reached a Tipping Point

By Danny Vena - Mar 24, 2020 at 12:35PM

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As the result of the pandemic, the shift to telemedicine for will forever change how healthcare is done.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is disrupting life as we know it in an untold number of ways, and one of the biggest permanent changes may be in the area of healthcare itself. According to Jason Gorevic, CEO of Teladoc Health (TDOC 4.88%), there's no turning back.

"The demand has shifted forever on virtual care, and we're on the verge of a new era for virtual care in the healthcare system," he said in an interview with CNBC's Jim Cramer. 

An elderly woman videoconferencing with a doctor on a laptop.

Image source: Getty Images.

Teladoc provides technology that allows patients to connect with their healthcare providers remotely, a service that has seen skyrocketing demand in the face of the coronavirus outbreak. Gorevic said "We're certainly seeing a significant increase in volume, and I didn't exactly expect the president to be talking at a White House press briefing about telehealth."

Earlier this month, Teladoc reported that during the previous seven day period patient visit volume surged 50% compared to the prior week, with demand continuing to rise. After previously seeing volumes that were consistent with peak flu season, visits accelerated to as many as 15,000 visits per day and 100,000 in a week. 

President Trump declared a national emergency earlier this month to free up numerous federal resources necessary to combat the pandemic. In his address, he called out platforms like Teladoc saying, "I tell you, what they've done with telehealth is incredible," Trump said. 

Just last week, the Trump Administration announced it was expanding the telehealth coverage available under Medicare, permitting seniors to receive a wider range of services than previously allowed. The move eliminated some of the regulatory red tape that was preventing older patients on Medicare from using telemedicine and digital health services.  

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