Telemedicine Companies Are Seeing A Spike Among Americans | Forbes

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Recently, GoodRx cofounder and co-CEO Doug Hirsch and his team had an idea: what if their company could organize telemedicine practices in the same way that they’ve organized drug pricing? “Maybe I’m just some super organized kind of guy,” he told Forbes, but “nobody is helping Americans figure out what the right service is for them.” That’s why GoodRx today launched its telemedicine marketplace, where Americans can compare prices for dozens of telemedicine services.

The telemedicine market is booming, and has only accelerated due to the current COVID-19 pandemic that has been causing people to stay in their homes and seek out alternative ways to talk with a doctor. “Every day I wake up and there’s another service,” Hirsch jokes. The Santa Monica, California-based company, valued at $2.8 billion, acquired its own telemedicine company, HeyDoctor, last September. The new marketplace compares plans from that service, as well as 98point6, One Medical, Hims, K Health, and other telemedicine companies. Hirsch declined to say if it was also partnering with other telemedicine giants including Teladoc and AmWell, but says it’s continuing to add more companies “on a day to day basis.”

Telemedicine has been around for almost two decades, but still remains relatively unpopular with most Americans. According to a J.D. Power survey last year, only one in ten Americans have tried a telemedicine service. Reasons for that vary. For some, it’s because of barriers, including access to the internet in rural areas or a lack of insurance coverage (until this month, Medicare didn’t cover telemedicine services). Direct-to-consumer pharmacy brands like Hims and Ro have boosted telemedicine’s profile, but the majority of Americans still see their doctors face to face. But the current pandemic may be changing their minds. Hirsch says that the coronavirus outbreak has caused an “unprecedented demand” for telemedicine services.

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