Mayo to launch weight loss drug telehealth service

The Mayo Clinic Diet, a weight loss program developed by the Rochester, Minn.-based health system, is launching a weight loss telemedicine service.

The Mayo Clinic Diet Medical Weight Loss Rx program will offer direct access to weight loss medications, or GLP-1s, via video visits with Amwell Medical Group clinicians, according to a Jan. 16 news release shared with Becker's.

The program, which is available in beta form to qualifying members, will also provide lab testing to confirm medication suitability, clinical monitoring, insurance support, meal plan options, and coaching and education tools.

The announcement from Mayo Clinic comes shortly after Eli Lilly launched a website for customers with migraines, obesity and diabetes to order prescription drugs directly from manufacturers, including weight loss medications such as Zepbound.

The new offerings come amid a rise in direct-to-consumer telehealth startups that offer weight loss medications. GLP-1s come with a steep price tag, costing upward of $10,000 per year without insurance. Ozempic, Trulicity, Victoza and Mounjaro are FDA approved to treat Type 2 diabetes, and Zepbound, Wegovy and Saxenda are approved for weight loss. 

As demand for the medications continues to surge, payers and self-insured employers — including several major health systems and state health plans — have consistently ended or limited coverage over the last year.

In 2024, Mayo Clinic began limiting coverage for weight loss drugs through its employee health plan. The Mayo Medical Plan, administered by Medica, imposed a new lifetime limit of $20,000 for weight loss medication coverage. The coverage limit does not apply to GLP-1s prescribed to employees for diabetes.

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