by Tim Rowan, Editor Emeritus

In 2020, doctors flooded telehealth companies with requests for help caring for patients reluctant to leave home to come to their appointments. Following suit, many Home Health agencies that had never considered investing in home telehealth before, opened up their wallets to acquire equipment, from simple wearables to high-end, HIPAA-compliant video systems.

In addition to the need to provide care at a safe distance, many HHA leaders knew the added service would attract the attention of hospitals desperate to discharge recovering Covid victims as well as non-Covid patients. Some HHAs established relationships with hospitals they had not had before, given the chance to demonstration Home Health’s unique advantages over extended hospital stays and discharges to institutions such as SNFs that had become virtual death sentences during the height of the pandemic.

All Things Must Pass

With the introduction and widespread free availability of Covid mRNA vaccines, the death rate graph line began to tilt downward. Then came the discovery that the SARS-CoV-2 and its variants are transmitted through the air and not through unwashed surfaces. People stopped disinfecting their counter tops after unloading groceries. And they started in-person doctor visits again. Patients returned to allowing nurses into their homes.

In regions where vaccination and booster rates were high, hospitals found themselves with more and more empty beds. They took down tented treatment centers in their parking lots and sent refrigerated trailers back to trucking companies. Desperation referrals to Home Health tapered off, as did the need for virtual visits.

Isaac Newton said every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If that holds true in the healthcare business as it does in physics, the reaction to Covid easing is seen in Remote Patient Monitoring tech companies. According to Fierce Healthcare, the New York Stock Exchange told one RPM company, Amwell, formerly known as “American Well,” to raise its stock price or be delisted. Fierce added detail about the company’s woes:

“Despite decimating its workforce at the end of 2023 to cut expenses, the company still projects a 2024 loss between $160 million and $155 million amid incremental revenue growth. The company’s market cap was a stone’s throw from $6 billion at the height of its valuation, when shares were trading for more than $42 each. Amwell shares were trading at $0.72 as of market close on April 5, giving the company a current market cap of about $208.6 million.

Another market leader fared no better, Fierce Healthcare found. “Telehealth giant Teledoc, which has been in operation for 20 years, has struggled in the stock market and is facing headwinds as the virtual care market has become crowded with digital health players. Shares dropped 22 percent in February as the company missed fourth-quarter revenue estimates and offered a downbeat forecast for the rest of the year.”

Teledoc’s 15-year CEO, Jason Gorevic, resigned last week after the company reported a net loss of $220 million for 2023, following 2022’s historic loss of $13.7 billion, mostly from a write-off related to the plummeting value of its ill-advised Livongo acquisition. According to Fierce Healthcare, Teladoc shelled out $18.5 billion for the digital chronic condition management company, a record in digital health.

Gorevic’s rationale that the telehealth field has become too crowded may not be far off. Last July, Becker’s Hospital Review published an industry survey titled “280+ Telehealth Companies to Know.” The list included a half dozen names we recognized from past Home Health conferences, including Health Recovery Solutions, AMC, Vivify, and FoneMed.

Do Hospital Woes Translate Down to Home Health?

Making comparisons between telemedicine companies that focus on hospitals and physicians and those who focus on post-acute providers is hampered by the fact that few in our sector are publicly traded and do not share their numbers. UnitedHealth, which acquired Vivify in 2019 and assigned it to its Optum division, does not separately report Vivify revenue.

Health Recovery Solutions, one of the best-known names in post-acute RPM, is privately held by its founding CEO and seven investors. Its most recent influx of $800,000 occurred in January, 2022, making it impossible to determine whether it was motivated by investor confidence or the need for cash as Covid began its decline.


This publication has promoted the advantages of remote patient monitoring for its entire 25-year existence. We have covered startups and established tech companies offering every technology from PERS to Zo monitors to automated phone calls, in-home cameras and microphones. We have followed the evolution of two-way communications and vital sign detectors from tabletop devices to tablets and smartphones. We have even tested a few robots. We have seen HHAs experience great success, and we have seen devices collecting dust on shelves.

Throughout, we have maintained that, when selected, implemented, and deployed properly, monitoring patients 24/7 instead of once or twice a week can improve patient outcomes, boost agency reputation, and, more often than not, produce a healthy ROI. The end of the latest pandemic may mean the end of demand for Remote Patient Monitoring systems, but that would be unfortunate.

Tim Rowan, Editor EmeritusTim Rowan is a 30-year home care technology consultant who co-founded and served as Editor and principal writer of this publication for 25 years. He continues to occasionally contribute news and analysis articles under The Rowan Report’s new ownership. He also continues to work part-time as a Home Care recruiting and retention consultant. More information: or

©2024 by The Rowan Report, Peoria, AZ. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Healthcare at Home: The Rowan Report. One copy may be printed for personal use: further reproduction by permission only.