Teladoc CEO Jason Gorevic On The Explosion In Telehealth

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CNBC transcript: Teladoc Health Inc (NYSE:TDOC) CEO Jason Gorevic speaks with Bertha Coombs live during CNBC‘s Healthy Returns Summit today

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WHEN: Today, Tuesday, May 11th

WHERE: CNBC’s “Healthy Returns Summit: New Era of Innovation”

CNBC's Interview With Teladoc CEO Jason Gorevic

TYLER MATHISEN: Well, most likely you have had a telehealth visit over the past year. It is pretty easy and convenient, I would say, but as the world begins to open back up, will people still want online doctors' visits or a hybrid approach? Who knows? Bertha Coombs now back with us to interview Teladoc's CEO Jason Gorevic. Bertha, the floor is yours.

BERTHA COOMBS: Thanks very much, Tyler. Jason, I guess you got the purple and magenta memo here. You know, over the past year, we saw an explosion in telehealth, people essentially discovering it and experiencing it. And one of the things that was notable to me was what they liked best was when they could see their own doctor, not just do a one and done with some physician they didn't know. How are you trying to transition Teladoc moving forward to be able to address that expectation from patients?

JASON GOREVIC: Well, Bertha, I think you said the operative word there, "expectation." I think we've moved rapidly from the awareness phase of virtual care directly into the expectations.  And those expectations have increased. They've become expectations of whole person care, not just a point solution for a single condition. They've become expectations for a unified experience through a single interface and a single experience, and they've become expectations of a longitudinal relationship, which I think is what you're talking about. And we are absolutely embracing that. I think mental health is the perfect example of that, where someone creates a longitudinal relationship with a therapist and a psychiatrist and has multiple visits. And, as you know, we just launched myStrength Complete today, which brings together digital assets as well as human interactions in a virtual environment to provide a complete longitudinal personal relationship that also takes advantage of all of the best technology assets and uses data at scale in order to deliver that. So, I think you're exactly right about the expectations have changed, and I think Teladoc is uniquely positioned to be able to deliver on those expectations.

BERTHA COOMBS: Obviously, in addition to launching that service over the last year, you acquired Livongo, which, again, is about this long-term helping people with their chronic conditions to create that kind of relationship. One of the things I have to ask you about is that, you know, over the last year, you were among the favorite stay-at-home stocks. Investors poured in, they got it, they figured out what was going on with telehealth. But lately, they have poured out. It's not just the Cathie Woods sell-off, but they seem to be concerned about your story. What are they missing here as we are moving forward?

JASON GOREVIC: Well, I think they're missing a few things. And I appreciate the stay-at-home phenomenon.  I just think virtual care is not a stay-at-home phenomenon. It's here to stay. The net promoter scores, the repeat utilization, the multi-product utilization we're seeing across multiple conditions all indicate that this is here to stay. And I think our first quarter results really demonstrate that, where visit volume was up 69 percent year over year, in spite of the fact that blue volume, which we would normally see a ton of in the first quarter, was down 90 percent. Now, you know, that says that something else is going on here. Doctor's office visits have pretty much gone back to normal at this point. And so, what you're seeing is that people are reaching out for other kinds of things. I mentioned mental healthcare, dermatology, chronic conditions like you mentioned with Livongo, things like diabetes and weight loss and diabetes prevention and hypertension. And beyond that with dermatology, for example, most of the conditions that we're treating are chronic conditions and/or noninfectious diseases. They're not one-and-done things, like you mentioned. That's why I'm convinced that this is a phenomenon that's here to stay. People realize that they can get more convenient, better access to care, and care that takes advantage of technology and the use of data to aggregate all of those data sources and deliver better insights for the consumer that are more personalized and better insights for the physician so that they can do just-in-time personalized interventions with that consumer to help them lead their healthiest life. So, I think they are really missing the numbers here. I think the biggest one I would point to is just our revenue per member. If you look a year ago, our member, revenue per member was about 87 cents per month. Fast-forward a year, and we're at about $2.25. Now that's because people are embracing multiple parts of our product portfolio, and I think if you only look at it through a narrow lens of what we were five years ago, maybe you could point to something that would, you know, express concern, but I think that is not keeping up with the evolution of the market and the evolution of Teladoc Health.

BERTHA COOMBS: The market is evolving. You know, I think back to when I met you over ten years ago, I was impressed that I went to your office and you had one of those treadmill desks. And now it feels like maybe you're in a race against all of these other entrants that are coming in. You know, we had Doctor on Demand merge with Grand Rounds, just had Walmart buy MeMed. CVS and also UnitedHealth, they're all launching their own virtual care combined with doctors as well. And, of course, there's Amazon Care that's now on the scene as well. This is a very crowded space, particularly when it comes to the employer market which is arguably the most lucrative part of this market.

JASON GOREVIC: Well, I think there are a lot of differences there. And you said it, a lot of names. It feels like everybody feels like they have to have a press release that says something about telehealth these days in order to be relevant. I think that's an affirmation of what we've been doing for those last ten-plus years, as you referenced. By the way, I still have that treadmill desk. I'm excited to be back in the office and get back on it. But I think it's important to understand differentiation. We have the broadest set of solutions in the market. We're not surprised by any of these moves. You know, last summer, at the beginning of the summer, we said, "Oh, my God, the market has rapidly changed, people's expectations have rapidly changed, and this pandemic has thrown the whole market into motion." And so, as we looked at the market, we said, "We need to be bold in taking a giant step forward and seeing where the puck is going," and that's why we put Livongo and Teladoc Health together. Putting together the two leaders in digital and virtual care that really each independently had unmatched scale. And when you put us together, the set of capabilities, the scale, the breadth of our clinical solutions, and the depth of our ability to use data and data science to massively improve the quality of care, is unmatched in the market. And so, you know, point solutions are no longer adequate. Point solutions are, are destined to become fossils. And so, you know, it's amazing to me the press that goes along with some of these activities, given their relatively narrow focus and small scale. But I think all of it is a validation of what our strategy has been, and all of the things that we've called out for the last ten years as our vision and our competitive differentiation.

BERTHA COOMBS: This is a time of year when you have large employers trying to put things together for the following year. What is it, what are the discussions like now in terms of trying to sign them up and, you know, they might be used to just using Teladoc or Urgent Care. They might be used to using Livongo as just part of it. Are you able to sell the whole piece, or are you still selling different parts of it because they still have old contracts?

JASON GOREVIC: Well, the good news is we're easily able to add on additional products. And so if you look at our 2020 selling season, about two-thirds of our bookings were multi-product bookings. And I think that really speaks to the market demand and consumer demand for unified integrated solutions. You know, we just did a study and consumers, seven out of ten consumers, found the multitude of healthcare websites, apps, platforms to be overwhelming. What they want is a unified experience for a broad array of conditions because they think of themselves has a whole person, not just a single condition. And so our mission is to deliver whole person care, and we're articulating that for those large employers and those health plans.  You know, in our quarterly call at the end of the first quarter we announced a large East Coast Blue plan who had bought essentially our entire suite of products for their populations. And I think that's indicative of what we're seeing from both health plans as well as employers as they're tired of doing the integration of a bunch of point solutions themselves when somebody like Teladoc Health can do it for them and deliver all of that in a unified fashion. And I think, I think that's the future, and that's why we went.

BERTHA COOMBS: So just a little quiz here at the end. There are so many competitors trying to enter this space. I'm just wondering, overrated or underrated, Amazon Care?

JASON GOREVIC: You're going to really put me on the spot, aren't you?

BERTHA COOMBS: Yeah, I'm just wondering, because there's been a lot written.

JASON GOREVIC: I would say based on the fact that they have one enterprise client of 385 employees, overrated.


JASON GOREVIC: CVS Health is a great partner of ours and a client. I love CVS Health. You won't get me to say anything bad about them.

BERTHA COOMBS: And what about Amwell and its partners?

JASON GOREVIC: I think it's a narrow solution and doesn't match the full scope or scale of what we deliver. And that's why I'm really happy about our competitive position. And more to the point, the strategy that we've taken in terms of methodically building out organically, as well as acquiring capabilities to deliver an unmatched solution that delivers more value for our clients and better healthcare experiences for consumers.

BERTHA COOMBS: Jason, you're a very good sport. Thank you for letting me put you on the spot. I think our viewers probably enjoyed it as well. Thanks so much. Tyler, back over to you.

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