Benefits navigation platform HealthJoy is expanding its partnership with Teladoc Health to launch virtual primary care services for employers.
HealthJoy will now allow employers to simplify employee access to benefits and related human resources labor in a total, wraparound offering including virtual primary care. HealthJoy CEO Justin Holland told Fierce Healthcare that the benefits navigation platform has always seen primary care as the center of care but was waiting for the right partner to complete the circle of wraparound care.
“We always believed that virtual primary care was where we want it to be,” Holland said. “And it just so happened that Teladoc has done a great job, we think probably offering the best-in-class virtual set of care options available. And with their acquisitions, it made it very timely for us.”
Teladoc has recently reported a stronger financial performance following a series of disappointing quarters largely brought down by plummeting stocks of its 2020 acquisition, chronic care management platform Livongo. Teladoc subsidiary BetterHelp has continued to boost its revenue while bringing mental health care to the platform.
The virtual care platform now serves 80 million people, leading to 21 million visits and half a billion digital interactions with 30,000 providers in 2022.
HealthJoy already offers users virtual access to adult and adolescent mental health, chronic care management, dermatology, employee assistance program services, musculoskeletal therapy, nutrition, tobacco cessation and urgent care.
The company says it eases administrative burden for human resource departments by streamlining employee navigation of benefits. The platform’s single front door is an entryway to entire benefits packages including medical, dental, vision, savings accounts, clinics and wellness initiatives.
Holland said the need for benefits navigation platforms emerged with point solution fatigue. HR teams are now forced to juggle dozens of point solutions. The expansion of remote work during COVID-19 made management of the benefits impossible, so HealthJoy took off.
“Brokers and HR have been more inventive with how they have dealt with cost containment, and they realize that the carriers haven't been as proactive,” Holland said. “So they’re building their own medical networks next to the health plans with all these virtual solutions. You have an HR team now being forced to effectively build their own care network for employees as a result of the inevitability of cost increases.”
In October 2022, HealthJoy scored $60 million in series D funding to scale up its platform. The Chicago-based company currently provides navigation to more than 1,000 U.S. employers with 500,000 employees and dependents.
Through the new partnership, the duo expects a reduction in wait times as patients get more quickly connected with primary care providers. The collaboration also will support referrals and access to virtual primary care that many Americans in rural areas struggle with. With provider shortages persisting, the virtual primary care service enables patients to more easily connect with the physicians that are out there, said Kelly Bliss, Teladoc president of U.S. group health, in a statement.
With hospitals also struggling to remain profitable post-COVID, Holland sees the move to digital allowing for increased productivity of providers while maintaining flexibility. Teladoc’s expansive network means that increased productivity through the new partnership can reign throughout the country, he noted.