By Michael Balsam, Chief Product Officer


In recent weeks, we have seen the likes of Walmart and Optum announce the shuttering of their virtual primary care channels, and telemedicine stalwarts Teladoc and Amwell are both experiencing sagging market cap. This isn’t a telemedicine apocalypse, but rather a correction that reflects the evolution of market needs and care delivery in a post-COVID world. 


Pointing telemedicine at a different problem 

The rapid rise of telemedicine since 2020 solved for a specific problem: in-person medical visits were not an option. Whether in support of routine appointments or more emergent needs, telemedicine functioned as a digital detour for traditional care channels.  

Fast forward, waiting rooms are full again and virtual primary care may at times feel like a hammer looking for nail. This has somewhat overshadowed the fundamental need for virtual specialty care, which solves for a different set of underlying market challenges: 

  • Specialty MD Gap: Exponential growth of chronic conditions coupled with a shrinking pool of specialty MDs dictates that we rethink how specialty care is delivered.   
  • Patient Access: Challenges related to proximity (i.e., distance to specialists) to the limited number of specialty MDs compounds the problem.  
  • Changing Patient-MD Dynamics: For specialty conditions like obesity, many seek alternate care resources, often turning to virtual options and separate care teams for support with delicate topics. 


The future of specialty care delivery 

Unlike the flagging trend in virtual primary care, there is a rapid rise in patient demand to improve specialty care experiences on behalf of payers, employers, PBMs, and providers. Getting virtual specialty care right is vital to meet evolving market needs—and healthcare consumer expectations:  

  • Scalable Access: Combine the right elements of brick-and-mortar clinics with the always-on benefits of the digital domain to deliver more cost-effective care with demonstrable health outcomes and compelling return on investment.  
  • Integrated Care: Healthcare is experiencing an aha moment with the realization that disparate collections of point source, condition specific solutions don’t drive the best health or financial outcomes. The ideal approach is grounded in coordinated care that contemplates comorbidities and connects care teams with relevant information at the right time.  
  • Speed to Impact: At both the patient and population levels, a data-enabled approach helps accelerate outcomes through identification of next best interventions and when best delivered.  

At the end of the day, product-market fit constantly is evolving and care delivery is no different. Meet the market where it is and lead it to where it needs to be. 


How we know 

As a virtual specialty medical practice (and pioneer of virtual care since 2009), we experienced the rapid rise of telemedicine first-hand. Organizations ill-equipped to support their high-risk populations by wire leaned on Cecelia Health to check on their patients, help coordinate care, and address pressing medical concerns. As telemedicine capabilities caught up to demand, these organizations continued to rely on us to virtually support the needs of their patients with chronic conditions. Transitioning from point source solutions, these organizations (and more) became early adopters of our integrated care model to address cardiometabolic health.  


We remain at the forefront of virtual specialty care delivery—and we want you to join us.  

  • Our non-physician clinicians, operating under the supervision of specialty MDs, scale patient access to specialty care.  
  • To maximize outcomes, we leverage our integrated care platform to addresses a range of coexisting cardiometabolic conditions across a range of care, from prevention to specialty telemedicine. 
  • We deliver efficient and coordinated support that connects disparate providers, care teams, care managers, and caregivers.  
  • And all underpinned by comprehensive data that informs care and powers healthcare economic analysis. 


Let’s discuss what goals you (and your population) can achieve through virtual integrated care with Cecelia Health. Connect with us. 


About the Author

Before joining Cecelia Health, Michael served as Chief Product Officer for Govini, a commercial data and analytics firm providing National security leaders with decision-grade information to advance America’s security and competitiveness. Prior to Govini, Michael was VP and Practice Leader for the Business of Data consulting practice at Outsell, where he advised information service providers and industry on data strategy and data-driven workflow solutions.

In 2011 Michael co-founded NextPHR, a healthcare technology company focused on participatory care management and at home monitoring to shorten the distance between patients and their care networks. Michael also served as Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Product of Onvia, a Nasdaq-listed firm that provides data and intelligence related to federal, state, and local government procurement.