Teladoc Health virtual visits spike 50% in the past week amid coronavirus spread 

Teladoc Health on March 13 announced that patient visit volume rose 50 percent over the past week as the coronavirus continues to spread across the U.S.  

Five notes:

1. The telehealth company had been dealing with visit demand consistent with peak flu volumes until March 11, when the number of virtual visit requests increased to more than 15,000 visits per day.

2. Between March 6 and March 13, Teladoc Health has provided an estimated 100,000 telehealth visits to patients in the U.S.

3. More than half of Teladoc's visits this month have been from first time users. The surge in new visitors has been propelled by encouragement from public health officials and waived fees by several health plans, according to the news release.

4. As Teladoc's patient volume increases, the virtual care company is seeing an increase in patients experiencing upper respiratory issues, Teladoc CMO Lew Levy, MD, said in the news release.

"As we saw during the flu epidemic of 2018, a community's healthcare system can become overwhelmed and virtual care can help provide needed relief," Dr. Levy said. "We have the unique ability to immediately connect with the CDC and other government agencies, to add the right screening tools and clinical quality protocols to our system, and most importantly, to keep patients – particularly those most at risk with underlying health conditions – out of care settings where they can face exposure."

5. As of 9 a.m. CDT, March 16, there have been 3,774 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the U.S., with 69 deaths reported. Globally, there have been 169,387 confirmed cases and 6,513 deaths.

More articles on telehealth:
Livongo, Doctor on Demand & more release 16 core principles for virtual care
MUSC Health expands virtual urgent care to support drive-through COVID-19 testing
Optum leads $8M funding for virtual heart health startup

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