Industry News: Volume 9, Issue 24

Teladoc Buys Advance Medical For $352M In Global Telehealth Deal

By: Bruce Japsen –  Teladoc, a fast-growing U.S. provider of virtual access to physicians, said it has purchased telehealth provider Advance Medical for $352 million to increase its presence in the global marketplace outside the U.S.

Like the U.S., there are big opportunities around the world to offering access to physicians and patients via smart phone, tablet and computer. Employers and private insurers are already embracing the trend as a way to make healthcare more convenient and avoid costly and unnecessary trips to the emergency room or a more expensive physician’s office.

“This acquisition advances our strategy to continually expand our product portfolio, as well as our operational footprint in attractive global markets,” Teladoc CEO Jason Gorevic said.

Under terms of the deal, the purchase price includes $292 million in cash and $60 million in Teladoc stock. The co-founders of Spain-based Advance Medical, Marc Subirats and Carlos Nueno, will join the Teladoc executive team, the companies said.

“We share Teladoc’s belief that a virtual care solution should be comprehensive in nature, and provide answers and outcomes for people regardless of their location or medical condition,” Nueno said in a statement. “Our clients have increasingly demanded high-quality virtual care at scale, and now we have the ability to bring this meaningful change to the healthcare system.”

In particular, the deal helps Teladoc expand into markets in Latin America and Asia “where private health insurance growth rates are more than double that of the U.S.” The U.S. market is taking off with coverage expanding in the private sector thanks to big insurers like UnitedHealth Group, Anthem and the coming expansion of telehealth coverage under Medicare health insurance for the elderly. Such insurance coverage has been a boon to companies like Teladoc and rivals American Well and MDLive.

In announcing their deal, Teladoc and Advance Medical said more than one-third of individuals around the world are waiting “longer than four weeks to see a specialist.” Advance Medical has 8 locations around the world and its “expert medical opinion has helped people in more than 125 countries,” the company’s web site says.

The combination of Teladoc and Advance Medical “delivers care in 125 countries, in more than 20 languages,” the companies said. The combined company has more than 2,000 employees.

Founded in 1999, Advance Medical said it has partnered with more than 300 large, multimational employers and insurers across Europe, Asia, Latin America and the U.S.

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Supreme Court upholds Trump travel ban opposed by many healthcare groups

By: Joanne Finnegan– A travel ban that was opposed by a healthcare industry that depends on foreign doctors and workers was upheld today by the Supreme Court.

The justices voted 5-4 (PDF) that President Donald Trump acted within the law in imposing limits on travel from several predominantly Muslim countries.

The president, shortly after taking office, implemented a travel ban that had implications for foreign-born doctors, medical students and patients who seek care in the United States.

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Medical imaging group warns China tariffs will cost manufacturers $138M and compromise care

By: Evan Sweeney – A leading industry group is pressing the Trump administration to allow medical imaging technology to be exempt from tariffs imposed on imported goods from China, arguing that the policy will cost device manufacturers $138 million this year.

In its latest plea, the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance (MITA) asked the Trump administration to establish a “timely and robust” exemption process for the tariffs, which could prevent manufacturers from staying competitive and limit patient access to care.

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