Remote medical service Teladoc missed payments for some doctors, which the company attributed to the extreme growth pains of the pandemic requiring its services much more than before.
Remote medical services like Teladoc work by facilitating meetings with a physician via telephone or computer. The company says it made 98 percent of payments on time, with the errors attributable to the company not having doctors’ correct information, as well as some where the payments were sent to Teladoc and not the physicians themselves.
As the coronavirus fundamentally changed American life in recent weeks, the number of appointments made via Teladoc has more than doubled. Policymakers have asked residents to “please do health this way,” as it will hopefully help to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Lockdown measures, put into place due to the virus, have made any remote communications a necessity for the time being.
Doctors have been under tight fiscal constraints like almost everyone during the pandemic because the amount of people coming into hospitals for non-essential services has plummeted – and with it, hospitals’ revenue.
Usually, doctors operating in telemedicine platforms are paid per visit and receive malpractice insurance from the firm they work for. Most are contractors, though a small percentage work for the platform themselves.
These sorts of companies have graduated to utilizing primary care physicians and sometimes pay them more than they’d usually make for their services due to the high demand for things like mental health services.
Doctors have been known to do a few appointments per day on these services in their free time. The companies match doctors with patients via algorithm, similar to how ride-share companies like Uber work. Some doctors take on larger loads and use multiple different telemedicine platforms.
The telemedicine services are usually important for non-urgent health concerns during this pandemic, and since early March, Teladoc reports over 20,000 appointments per day. Rival platforms have been chomping at the bit to try and recruit more professionals to join their services since the coronavirus pandemic began in mid-March.