Jason Gorevic loved the idea of improving health care — but he didn’t want to be a doctor. So the Teladoc Health CEO made his big impact another way: Through passion for business and technology.
Gorevic, 49, became the Teladoc Health (TDOC) CEO in 2009, turning the small company into the $29 billion leader in virtual medical services. But it was a long time in coming. Gorevic needed to assemble disparate skills from many places first.
Right out of college in 1993, Gorevic started out at Oxford Health Plans, now part of Anthem (ANTM). He held many positions. But his ah-ha moment came in 1995. That’s when he developed a first-of-its-kind telephone service that let registered nurses help patients. The need for an office visit was curtailed.
And that early idea would prompt Gorevic to revolutionize the medical industry. As the Teladoc CEO, Gorevic now helps provide online medical advice to employees at half the largest U.S. companies plus health plans and insurers. In 2020 alone, the company provided nearly 11 million telehealth visits to patients using everything from chatbots to live video.
“We’ve transformed Teladoc to define a new category of whole-person virtual care,” Gorevic told Investor’s Business Daily. “It’s creating a revolution in making a broad range of health care options more accessible anywhere and anytime.”
Teladoc CEO: Grow Into A Market Leader
Virtual health might seem mainstream now. Teladoc Health enables virtual care in 175 countries in 40 languages and 450 subspecialties. And three-quarters of American physicians conducted at least one remote consultation. That might be a video diagnosis, advice on how to manage pain, a prescription or an affirmation of their connection with the patient.
But that wasn’t the case when Gorevic became the Teladoc CEO in June 2009. He’s built an industry from practically scratch, at least from humble beginnings. The growth is astounding. Teladoc went public on July 1, 2015. And since then, shares are up 567%, easily topping the S&P 500’s 102% gain in that time.
Meanwhile, Teladoc’s revenue last year hit $1.1 billion. That’s up more than 2,400% from 2014. That’s more than 50% average annual growth. Analysts think Teladoc’s revenue will nearly double to $1.9 billion this year.
Learn Leadership From Diverse Experiences Like The Teladoc CEO
Gorevic didn’t even originally set out in the medical industry. But experiences and false starts over his career paved the way.
He assumed he would return to the family jewelry business in New York after attending the University of Pennsylvania. During summers, he alternated between working with his family and a company he started to paint houses. Painting was “the hardest work I ever did and it gave me hands-on experience in managing people and marketing,” he said.
But on-the-job lessons helped him see a bigger future. And that started as he picked up medical knowledge building out 24/7 call centers in several states for Oxford Health. But he knew he needed more technical expertise.
Boost Your Tech Know-How
Gorevic soon saw how technology could improve customer service. But he needed more firsthand knowledge.
So in 1998, he joined Mail.com as vice president of operations and then general manager of business messaging. Mail.com pioneered email marketing, but it failed in the market collapse of 2000.
So, the future Teladoc CEO applied his tech chops to other experiences. And he started an online marketplace for jewelers in New York City. But just as the company started taking off, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks shut down the industry in 2001. And no venture capitalists wanted to invest in anything to do with luxury goods.
Gorevic returned to the health care industry in 2002. He held operations and marketing positions at companies that were soon acquired by Anthem. And he was promoted to senior vice president and chief sales and marketing officer in 2004. Then all his knowledge and experience finally aligned.
Find New Opportunity As The Teladoc CEO Does
Then-tiny Teladoc reached out to Gorevic in 2007 to take the CEO position. Due to his experiences, Gorevic saw big potential few others recognized. The company was founded in 2002 in Dallas, Texas, to provide remote consulting between patients and doctors for a flat fee. In December 2009, it raised initial private funding of $9 million and reached a total of $100 million by September 2014.
Gorevic’s first boosted the business’ size. He learned scale is important when working with large companies with many employees, especially in health care. New funding allowed Teladoc to buy its primary competitors, Consult a Doctor in 2013 and then AmeriDoc in 2014. Sales doubled in both years. Teladoc became the largest telemedicine provider in the U.S., with 8 million patients.
Keep Finding Growth Like The Teladoc CEO
Growth continues to drive Gorevic. Teladoc bought more than 10 companies in the industry with Gorevic as the Teladoc CEO. Size lets the company rapidly offer new services across geographies and categories of care.
Its largest deal to date was the 2020 merger with Livongo. Livongo was the leader in remote patient monitoring. Someone with high blood pressure, for example, could use its cuff to upload data that would result in a digital nudge of advice on getting the numbers down or connect with a coach.
The implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 had opened Teladoc’s doors to the major health plans, too. Clients include Aetna (AET), which offered it to fully insured members first in Florida and Texas in 2011. Early adopters also include Home Depot (HD) and T-Mobile (TMUS), with a surge in 2014.
Drive Innovation Toward The Biggest Possible Vision
How do you focus when an industry is booming? Teladoc Health focuses on a simple equation in health care: balancing supply and demand for medical services. Gorevic aims to help solve the critical supply-demand gap, as populations age and the number of medical school students declines.
Gorevic finds new business opportunities by thinking how to make medical know-how more available at lower cost. Its systems, for instance, let health care professionals make themselves available when they have a few extra minutes or an hour.
Keep Yourself Connected And In Balance
How does Gorevic stay on top of everything within this hurricane of change? He says that since the pandemic started, everyone is working remotely. And the leadership team has virtual meetings several times a week. He also directly connects to employees at all levels to be sure he hears about any issues.
As for leading a balanced life, “I’m a runner,” he said. “(I) either zone out or solve problems by the time I come back (from a run). When I golf, if I don’t totally focus on the ball it’s a disaster. When I’m with my family, I’m fully present and there are no phones at the dinner table, so we’re communicating with each other.”
Look Beyond Your Core
Teladoc is best known for allowing patients to get routine medical advice. But Gorevic wants to take on more challenging medical issues like mental health next.
“The isolation in the past year has clearly exacerbated mental health problems,” he said. Gorevic says virtual care is suited to these situations. Patients can go through cognitive behavioral therapy modules using live chat, phone, or video and texting when the therapist isn’t available.
“We use a team approach so that we can bring in additional help as warranted,” he said. “Health plans and employers have rapidly been embracing this and we also have a thriving direct-to-consumer service.”
For some, constantly finding growth is a tall order. But for Gorevic it’s just a new experience.
Teladoc CEO Jason Gorevic’s Keys
- CEO of Teladoc Health, the leader in a wide variety of virtual health care consultations and services.
- Overcame: Skepticism about how virtual care could improve the practice of medicine for both doctors and patients.
- Lesson: “You should always envision your company’s potential as limitless.”
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