Telehealth News Recap - September 2022

It can be tough to keep up with the latest news in the virtual care space. Wheel's Virtual Care News is a monthly newsletter for stakeholders in the digital health industry. As a subscriber, you'll receive timely information on trending news, regulatory updates, engaging conversations, and key innovations emerging in the space.

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This month’s industry news roundup brings an exciting update on Wheel's technology and product team, the latest on home-health acquisition news from CVS Health and Walgreens, five key insights from a telehealth legislation deep dive, and more.

Trends & Insights

CVS Health to Acquire Signify Health

After a bidding war against heavy hitters like Amazon and Optum, CVS Health has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the home-health service provider, Signify Health, for approximately $8 billion.

"This acquisition will enhance our connection to consumers in the home and enables providers to better address patient needs... this combination will strengthen our ability to expand and develop new product offerings in a multi-payor approach," said CVS Health President and CEO, Karen Lynch.

CVS Health >

Walgreens Finalizes CareCentrix Home Care Investment

Following the trend of home healthcare investments, Walgreens Boots Alliance completed its majority stake investment in CareCentrix last month for $330 million. After their majority stake investment in VillageMD last year, Walgreens Health rolled out hundreds of physician-staffed clinics attached to their drug stores. This new collaboration will allow them to expand that care even further into the patient's home.

Forbes >

First Opinions & Engaging Conversations

Easy is hard: A Back-to-Basics Approach for Succeeding in Uncertain Times

In this guide to innovation during uncertain times, Rock Health unpacks strategies for navigating "digital health's choppy waters using a back-to-basics framework to guide bold moves." Rather than hunkering down and waiting it out, the article presents thoughtful strategies for keeping your innovation engine running strategically in the midst of market shifts and economic challenges.

Rock Health >

Policy & Regulatory Updates

Telehealth: "Should I Stay or Should I Go..."

Want to catch up on the latest telehealth regulation trends? In this comprehensive review, Marissa Moore, CFA, Health Tech Investor at OMERS Venture, shares the latest updates from interviews with expert lobbyists, federal lobbying reports, and Congressional legislation.

Here are her five key takeaways:

    1. There’s actually consensus about something in DC: substantial legislative reform is needed to secure telehealth’s permanency within the US healthcare system.
    2. There’s a lot of pressure to get that reform right. Congress is currently weighing several interdependent counterbalances — and only has enough empirical data right now to support some of them.
    3. Entities from all corners of the healthcare industry — non-profit and for-profit, publicly-traded and privately-held, payers and providers, etc. — are increasingly stepping up to the plate to provide that evidence and push the ball forward.
    4. For-profit entities are more engaged than they’ve ever been as the risk/reward calculus has become more tangible on the back of the pandemic.
    5. In healthcare, having a government affairs strategy is not a “nice-to-have.” It’s a “need-to-have.” Budgets don’t have to be exorbitant to make an impact and there are several avenues companies can take based on their specific constraints, needs, and interests. But advocacy requires a mindset adjustment: it’s inherently a long game. Companies shouldn’t expect to see results overnight.

Second Opinion >

Growth & Innovation

Benchmarks for Growing Health Tech Businesses

After studying the performance of 50 top healthcare technology businesses, the Bessemer Healthcare team reveals the fundamental trends and benchmarks leaders need to know about healthcare SaaS and tech-enabled services. This article analyzes the reality behind scaling healthcare tech businesses by looking at "Good-Better-Best KPIs" for both healthcare SaaS companies and tech-enabled service providers.

Bessemer Venture Partners >

Survey Insights: 2022 Connectivity and Mobile Trends

In their comprehensive study of consumer technology trends, Deloitte surveyed 2,005 US consumers to gain insights into attitudes toward digital life. Here are their most notable results on telehealth trends:

  • 49% of consumers said they've attended a virtual appointment in the past year with Millennials leading the trend at 59%
  • Consumers cited top benefits as convenience, reduced exposure to illness, and ease of scheduling
  • 48% of consumers are very satisfied with virtual medical experiences
  • 92% say they're very or somewhat satisfied with their virtual medical experiences - up 10 points from 2021 reports

Deloitte >

Wheel News

Why We’re Doubling Down on Mission and Expanding Our Technology and Product Leadership Team

We’re excited to welcome Sameer Merchant as Chief Technology Officer and Steve Manning as Senior Vice President, Product. The new leaders will be focused on expanding Wheel’s white-labeled enterprise platform that delivers the future of care. By scaling the underlying infrastructure for the industry, we’ll enable the most innovative companies in healthcare to build virtual-first offerings across multiple care models. And together, we’ll improve the healthcare experience for millions of people across the country.

Our CEO Michelle Davey shares more about our strategy and their new roles in a recent Medium post.

This Isn’t Another Story About Burnout: Why Empathy Fatigue is the Worst Threat to Patient Care Today

"At the beginning of the pandemic, we were celebrated as heroes. Now the heroes are asking for help in addressing this new phenomenon of empathy fatigue. If we fail to ignore this crisis of compassion, patients and clinicians will continue to suffer." In this article, Wheel's Dr. Pooja Aysola explores key actions healthcare companies can take today to combat empathy fatigue head on.

MedCity News >

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At Wheel, we believe healthcare will move forward when we amplify the impact of virtual care for more patients. Find out how Wheel can help launch, scale, and sustain your telehealth business.