In a move to capitalize on the demand for remote care solutions, Catapult Health launched a virtual checkup program for employers offering home-based preventive care for employees and family members.
The service provides virtual checkups using telehealth, clinical diagnostic tools, and screenings for depression and COVID-19.
Catapult Health, which launched 10 years ago, initially focused on providing worksite preventive healthcare services. Through that program, a nurse on-site performs diagnostic blood work and other clinical measurements and employees then meet with a clinician via telehealth to go over the results.
The company will continue to offer on-site services but the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated its move to an all-virtual solution, the company's CEO David Michel told Fierce Healthcare.
"We were moving in this direction for the past four years and it would be the end of next year before we would have gotten to where we are today. The pandemic gave us a reason to get all the way to finish line this summer," he said.
Early response has been enthusiastic as employers look to meet the expectations of a more digitally-engaged member base, Michel said.
To date, more than 40 organizations representing nearly 80,000 covered participants have signed up for the new virtual service.
The new virtual checkup service went live Sept. 1, and the company is on track to deliver over 10,000 virtual checkups in the first month, with registrations at more than one per minute, a company representative said.
Prior to each visit, participants are mailed a virtual checkup home kit that contains a blood pressure monitor, a next-generation finger stick blood testing device, and a measuring tape. This is followed by a telehealth visit with a board-certified Catapult Health nurse practitioner who reviews and discusses results, performs depression and COVID-19 screenings, and delivers a customized personal action plan.
The virtual checkup service is covered by most payers, according to the company, and can be implemented as a stand-alone solution, or as a hybrid complemented by onsite clinics.
The company is anticipating rapid growth in its all-virtual business.
Patients have deferred care during the COVID-19 pandemic and visits to healthcare clinics are trending well below their pre-COVID-19 levels, setting the stage for increased future health issues.
Catapult Health data from 23,363 patients seen in June through July 2020 indicates worsening health in workers—uncontrolled hypertension was up 9.4% and uncontrolled diabetes was up 19.7% compared to the same time period last year.
Employers are now challenged with keeping employees connected with their health, understanding some may have new or worsening chronic conditions due to delayed wellness visits, according to Catapult Health.
The new virtual care program offers employers an option for preventive checkups that can easily include satellite locations, remote employees and spouses.
"With the September launch, we projecting volume will be 22% higher than our biggest historical month ever and we expect October to be 11% higher than September," Michel said.
Startups that offer direct-to-consumer healthcare services and at-home diagnostic kits are growing rapidly. These companies, which offer a lower-cost alternative to more traditional services, also are attracting venture capital investment.
TytoCare, the maker of an at-home exam and telehealth device kit, raised $50 million back in April, co-led by Insight Partners, Olive Tree Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures LLC.
LetsGetChecked, a direct-to-consumer at-home health testing company, landed $30 million in a series B funding round in May.
Catapult Health's goal is to reinvent how basic care preventive care and primary care in America is delivered, Michel said. "We think the way it’s done is broken," he added.
Essilor of America, Inc., a company that manufactures and supplies optical products, is now offering Catapult Health's virtual checkup service as another option for its employees.
“Preventive care is key, especially as many in our team have recently experienced transitions in their lives, and more people are remote and caring for family members. Catapult Health does preventive care right with clinical accuracy, and the onsite clinics have been valuable in engaging our employees with their health," said Ryan Murry, senior director of benefits at Essilor of American in a statement.
Catapult Health's preventive health services have resulted in clinical improvements and decreased health risks among its customers' employees, and this results in cost savings for health plans and employers, according to the company.