CHICAGO and MIRAMAR, Fla. (April 9, 2020) – MDLIVE Inc. today reported that in addition to a surge in virtual visit volume, new individual user registrations through its health plan, health system and employer partners have increased to an all-time high of approximately 20,000 a day since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. in March. The rapid growth has been driven by government agencies’ recommendations that virtual care stand as the first line for medical and behavioral health care in light of COVID-19, as well as payors’ waiving of co-pays to encourage telehealth use during this pandemic.
“While many industry experts said consumer adoption was at a tipping point at the start of 2020, it is clear that COVID-19 put virtual care on a fast track for substantial growth,” said Charles Jones, MDLIVE’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Our growth reflects a continuation of the overall movement to telehealth as more patients become aware of and use it. For those who try it, the number of repeat visits is high. Typically, more than 40 percent of MDLIVE visits are from repeat users. We are reducing the risk of contagion across a number of diseases, including COVID-19. This increase in adoption allows more of our members to benefit from access to healthcare sooner and therefore lower overall healthcare costs.”
MDLIVE currently has more than 40 million members in the U.S. A member is an individual who has access to MDLIVE through his or her health plan. Over the last several years, MDLIVE has consistently grown by over 35 percent. Accelerated growth is reflected in the following updates related to MDLIVE’s virtual care delivery in March:
- Daily visit numbers increased by more than 50% on a consistent basis week-over-week since early March and are expected to continue to rise.
- Increased visit volumes were already seen by MDLIVE prior to the coronavirus situation because the U.S. was hit with a particularly harsh flu season that continued well into March.
- While the company’s providers are seeing patients with COVID-19 concerns, they are still mostly treating the common conditions MDLIVE normally treats this time of year in addition to the flu. These include sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis and urinary tract infections (in women only).
- Daily new user registrations have as much as quadrupled amid the COVID-19 outbreak as MDLIVE partners take steps to increase awareness and encourage utilization of virtual care among their members and patients.
- MDLIVE is seeing a significant uptick in demand for behavioral health services as the COVID-19 crisis and its impact are causing many individuals to experience heightened levels of stress and anxiety. Behavioral health visits have increased by 30% in March from the previous two months.
- The company has increased its active provider network by over 40% and will continue to add board-certified physicians to meet the projected demand for ongoing high levels of virtual care use by its members.
- MDLIVE is taking other steps to reduce wait times and improve the overall patient experience during the crisis. This includes expediting changes to allow providers to see patients in states that have removed state-level license requirements, which has resulted in decreased wait times and increased provider productivity.
“We will continue to increase the number of healthcare providers on our platform,” Jones said. “The federal government is encouraging states to waive licensure requirements for physicians and, specifically, provisions that restrict physicians to only seeing patients in states where they are licensed. These changes to state level licensure requirements are especially helpful as they have increased provider productivity by as much as 85%, and they have improved our ability to load balance supply and demand with almost two-thirds of visits in waiver states handled under the waivers. We are prepared for continued growth in utilization post-coronavirus and believe the use of telehealth will be a ‘systemic change’ that will become foundational for healthcare.”