- Global telehealth vendor Teladoc Health sees opportunity to bring in new members as the novel coronavirus continues to spread.
- "We do benefit ... by bringing new people into becoming active users," chief executive Jason Gorevic told investors on the aftermarket call discussing the Purchase, New York-based vendor's fourth quarter earnings. "Activating new users feeds the flywheel that drives visit growth over time."
- Teladoc beat Wall Street expectations for both earnings and revenue, which rang in at $156.5 million for the fourth quarter, up almost 28% year over year helped in part by increased membership from the acquisition of Advance Medical.
Public health officials have aired multiple potential scenarios for the highly contagious virus, called COVID-19, from successful containment to worldwide pandemic. Either way, analysts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expect incremental use of virtual care services to increase as wary consumers look for ways to diagnose and treat themselves at home.
"It's still too early to qualify the impact that the outbreak could have on our business," Gorevic hedged Wednesday on the outbreak, which has infected an estimated 80,000 people in roughly 40 countries and killed more than 2,700 so far. "We'll continue to play an active role depending on which of those scenarios plays out."
Like the flu, the coronavirus could be a tailwind and valuable onboarding tool for Teladoc, along with rivals American Well and Doctor on Demand and app-based telemedical providers like 98point6 and K Health.
One out of every eight virtual visits in January was related to the flu, and over half of those visitors had not used Teladoc's platform before.
The company has long hinted interest in a primary care bid within the hospital through remote patient monitoring, digital therapeutics and other lanes. Teladoc works with roughly 450 hospitals and health systems, including 30 of the 50 largest U.S. health systems like HCA, Providence St. Joseph Health and Kaiser Permanente.
It acquired provider telehealth player InTouch Medical for $600 million in January to further this aim, in a deal expected to close in the second quarter.
Teladoc has so far failed to turn a profit for shareholders since going public in 2015. Last year, it operated at a loss of $98.9 million — a shade higher compared to $97.1 in 2018.
But the vendor saw promising volume growth, with 4.1 million patient visits in 2019, a 57% increase from the year prior, according to its financial results released Wednesday aftermarket. Client bookings involving mental health more than doubled in 2019, executives said, and they also expect Medicare Advantage to become a stronger driver of growth over the next three years.
Teladoc relies heavily on subscriptions paid by insurers although it does get revenue from per-visit fees paid either by insurers or patients. Many of its clients are major employers, including more than 40% of the Fortune 500. In the largest number of new member adds in company history, Teladoc acquired 14 million additional paid members in 2019, ending the year with 36.7 million in total subscribers. That's a 61% jump year over year.
Patients paying a per-visit fee more than doubled to 19.3 million in 2019.
Full year revenue was up 32% to $553 million, the large majority from subscription access fees and organic growth.
In 2020, Teladoc experts to bring in revenue between $695 and $710 million and EBITDA loss between $15 million and $5 million. The vendor expects to add an additional 6.3 to 8.3 million paid members this year and have between 5.5 and 5.9 million total visits. The vendor's stock was up slightly following the release.