The Virtual Primary Care Explosion

Following Walmart, Amazon, and Ro’s entry into the virtual primary care arena earlier this year, more and more organizations are ramping up their efforts in this arena. Over the past few weeks CVS, UnitedHealth Group subsidiary – Optum Store, and Carbon health have recently launched their own direct-to-consumer primary care services.  

  • CVS Health’s launch of a nationwide virtual primary care solution is “powered by Teladoc Health’s longitudinal, physician-led care team model, and complemented by the strength of Aetna’s provider network, and CVS Health services”.  
  • Carbon Health is expanding primary care access with the acquisition of  “two urgent care chains in Tuscon, Arizona and Sacramento, California. It now has 83 clinics in 12 states”. 
  • UnitedHealth Group Subsidiary, Optum Store has expanded to add direct to consumer primary services by offering “generic drugs and virtual services to people who don’t have insurance.”

In the policy arena, various national and state-wide regulatory changes are pending.  Manatt  “has developed a federal and comprehensive 50-state tracker for policy, regulatory and legal changes related to telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic”

Biden administration invests $19M to bolster rural telehealth. 

The funding will provide resources “to train primary care providers, bolster groups providing virtual care, pilot new telehealth services, and research the efficacy of digitally delivered care in rural geographies”

Many healthcare organizations are changing up their strategies for 2021 and beyond. We are following this trend carefully.

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