ViVE 2023: Everly Health builds out virtual care program integrated with at-home testing

NASHVILLE—Everly Health is moving beyond at-home testing kits to build out its virtual care services combing diagnostic testing, treatment and ongoing condition management.

Austin, Texas-based Everly Health, the parent company of Everlywell, launched in 2015 to provide direct-to-consumer at-home lab testing kits. It now offers more than 30 at-home tests spanning food sensitivity to Celiac disease screening to cholesterol tests and men's and women's health, including fertility testing.

The company also operates an enterprise arm called Everly Health Solutions working with payers and employers.

At the ViVE conference this week, the company unveiled a new virtual care program that integrates lab testing with telehealth visits to evaluate health conditions including COVID-19, flu, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), urinary tract infections (UTIs), thyroid, weight management, and men’s and women’s health.

The virtual visits cost $59 for consumers paying out of pocket and $10 to $50 when billed through insurance, according to the company.

The aim is to offer consumers a seamless end-to-end solution on an integrated platform for more comprehensive treatment and personalized care, executives said.

"Our consumers are telling us that they're interested in addressing this symptom or that symptom but they are not sure which test to order. They wanted to find a way to talk to a provider who was not only knowledgeable about our tests but also able to understand what their symptoms are," Liz Kwo, M.D., Every Health's chief medical officer, said on the show floor at ViVE.

Lab testing is used in about 70% of medical diagnoses, she noted, and the company has built a model based on diagnostic-driven care.

In the past eight years, Everly Health has enabled over 50 million at-home tests for millions of people.

A key area for potential improvement in care is the diagnosis and management of sexually transmitted infections (also called STDs), most of which require some form of laboratory testing to aid in diagnosis. Virtual care alone is often not suitable to diagnose an STI, but telehealth visits combined with at-home testing minimizes barriers to access and stigma associated with testing, according to Everly Health.

The virtual care visits begin with a 20 to 30-minute telehealth visit via video call with a licensed, board-certified medical professional. Following an assessment, the medical professional will suggest a personalized care plan which may include diagnostic testing and results review, lifestyle recommendations and prescription medications.

As part of the diagnostics-driven, virtual care service, Everly Health will offer online prescription medications for qualified patients. For example, patients with an STI could be prescribed an antibiotic or patients diagnosed with a thyroid condition could get a prescription for a thyroid hormone medication.

Everly Health also will offer GLP-1 drugs, a class of drugs that includes Ozempic and Wegovy, to qualified patients in its weight management program. A virtual care provider will evaluate patients for a possible GLP-1 prescription. Patients must be over the age of 18 and complete lab testing to measure key biomarkers and lab results to determine if GLP-1s are appropriate, according to Everly Health.

"We believe in building an ecosystem around it," as part of longer-term health management, Kwo said. "When people come into our weight management program, we actually have them focus on a few tests to start with, so everything from thyroid to cholesterol and heart health to diabetes. Once we do that, if they qualify for a certain platform, let's say they are newly diagnosed with pre-diabetes, we will put them on a diabetes management track, along with the weight management program," she said.

The new virtual care program also supports Everly Health's work to serve employers and health plans.

"It supports our flywheel discussion of basically supporting consumer wellness. And we're supporting payers by closing care gaps and quality metrics for preventive care screening," Kwo said.

The combination of virtual care visits and at-home lab testing along with online prescriptions opens up access to diagnostics and care.

Approximately 99 million people in the U.S. live in health provider shortage areas (HPSAs). Twenty percent of Everlywell STI tests sold between 2021-2022 were purchased by people in rural areas, reinforcing the impact of virtual care and at-home solutions in areas with limited access to in-person care, according to the company.

When looking at all-time tests, 29% of individuals were in health professional shortage areas, and 89% were from medically underserved areas, the company's data shows.

"We can do a home test for an STI and then prescribe an antibiotic that can be sent directly to a patient's pharmacy. We're doing a strong test-to-treat model and we're really starting to build that out," Kwo said.

"I think telehealth is table stakes now," she added, "We want to basically support the provider and help them be much more insightful when they're having the patient interaction based on biometrics and lab values and based on things that are much more useful. Consumers come to use with symptoms, and they want to address their symptoms, that's their pain point. Being able to offer a test and have them follow-up with a doctor all baked into the test cost is a nice, seamless experience."

Home testing has become a crowded field with companies like Amazon, Ro, GoodRx and Labcorp all offering at-home diagnostics for common blood tests and health screenings. Everly Health is striving to become a leader in the $300 billion diagnostics-driven digital health industry.

The company has grown through acquisitions deals. In 2021, the company scooped up a pair of companies that offer lab testing services: PWNHealth, which operates a clinician network for diagnostic testing, and Home Access Health. At that time, Everlywell announced the formation of Everly Health.

Everly Health also picked up women's health company Natalist as it pushes deeper into women's health and retail products. 

The company says it now supports more than 20 million people in all 50 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Canada and works with 350 enterprise partners.

It has raised over $500 million to date with backers including BlackRock, The Chernin Group, Lux Capital and Morningside Ventures.

Everly Health continues to look at other medical conditions and services to help patients manage their health. A year ago, the company's enterprise division launched an all-in-one digital solution paired with a-home lab tests to provide colorectal cancer preventive screenings.

Everly Health also sees opportunities for expanded reimbursement from payers for screening tests, Kwo noted.

A new HEDIS measure, developed by the National Commission for Quality Assurance and The National Kidney Foundation, aims to improve screening and testing for kidney disease among patients with diabetes.