Benefits navigation platform HealthJoy has expanded its partnership with virtual care company Teladoc to offer virtual primary care services to HealthJoy’s clients, the companies announced Thursday.
Chicago-based HealthJoy serves employers, brokers and third party administrators with a mobile platform that helps connect employees to a range of benefits, including mental health, nutrition and musculoskeletal therapy. It serves more than 1,000 employers. Teladocbased in Purchase, New York, provides virtual services for primary care, mental health, complex care, condition care and chronic condition management.
Through the expanded partnership, HealthJoy is providing access to virtual primary care services for the first time, which will be powered by Teladoc and integrated into HealthJoy’s care navigation services. The companies have been partners for about a year, but focused on virtual services for chronic condition management, mental health and general telemedicine.
“The concept of care navigation wrapped around primary care is something we’ve always been very interested in,” said Justin Holland, CEO and co-founder of HealthJoy, in an interview. “We kind of thesis that care navigation is best done at the point of referral at primary care. It’s something we’ve been excited about for a long time. … Now any downstream referrals, whether that’s for prescriptions or specialist referrals, we’re able to leverage the healthcare technology to help with that.”
HealthJoy chose Teladoc as a partner because they’re a “category leader” in virtual care, Holland added.
“They’ve been the most tech-forward, most partner-focused,” he said. “They also understand the employers’ needs. They understand the channel needs. I think that also the pipeline of their vision, of where they want to take Teladoc in the long run, is very much aligned. We’re not in the business of building effectively a virtual hospital. I think that is a capability that Teladoc has long term and that’s very exciting for us.”
Holland declined to comment on the business model of the partnership between HealthJoy and Teladoc.
The news comes at a time when about one-third of Americans don’t have access to a usual source of primary care because of a workforce shortage. This partnership aims to improve access to primary care, as well as reduce costs for employers, Holland said.
“We see that increasing the accessibility of virtual options, ideally, can be somewhat of a way to relieve the pressure off the systems,” he stated. “There’s no silver bullet here, it’s going to take a bunch of different things to come together to make an impact. But we see that this is just an additional way that we can ideally help the systems be better, more impactful to the patients that need it.”
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