Virtual care companies seeking IPOs, potential sales amid telehealth surge

Virtual care providers such as Amwell, Teladoc and MDLive are participating in deal activities and pursuing going public in response to widespread telehealth adoption during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an Aug. 25 Wall Street Journal report.

Relaxed telehealth laws and increased reimbursement rates during the pandemic have contributed to the widespread increase in virtual care usage; about 28 percent of consumers surveyed in April said they were using telehealth in the early months of the year, up 15 percent from the same time last year, according to Deloitte Consulting, the Journal reports.

Some executives at telehealth companies are looking to act quickly and find buyers while virtual care is still "top of mind" for patients and physicians. Here's an update on four telehealth companies' deal activities since the start of the pandemic, according to the report.

1. Amwell on Aug. 24 filed a registration statement for an initial public offering but in recent months also explored a sale rather than going public, a person familiar with the situation told the Journal. The sale could have scored the company $3 billion to $4 billion.

2. Teladoc Health, which is publicly traded, in August agreed to an $18.5 billion deal to purchase remote care management service Livongo Health.

3. MDLive is planning for an IPO early next year, according to CEO Charles Jones. The company is working with a group of five banks and is considering crossover investments from financial institutions that invest in private and public markets.

4. Talkspace has participated in preliminary talks with some larger telehealth companies regarding a potential sale, according to people familiar with the matter. "We have been approached multiple times in the past about a sale, but we have not pursued it," Talkspace co-founder and CEO Oren Frank said.

More articles on telehealth:
Humana sues telehealth firm, alleges fraudulent visits, prescriptions: 5 details
Google invests $100M in Amwell concurrent with its IPO filing: 5 things to know
CloudMD buys 7-location rehab clinic in Canada: 4 notes

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