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North Carolina Telemedicine Startup Filling In Health Care Gaps

RelyMD, a telehealth company founded in 2015 by an independent emergency physician group in North Carolina, is expediting access to health care across the state. In a matter of minutes, patients can connect via a computer, smartphone, or tablet to receive treatment from one of RelyMD’s board-certified physicians.

The startup is part of the booming telemedicine industry that is redefining the delivery of health care. In 2015, $400 million alone in funding went to telehealth companies that offer real-time video encounters between licensed medical providers and patients. Market research reports a 20 percent increase in virtual physician visits from 2015-2016, while a larger share of hospitals are integrating telemedicine programs. 75 percent of large employers have extended telemedicine as an additional benefit option for their employees.


RelyMD is one of those telemedicine platforms that has partnered with all three. Patients pay a flat $50 fee to seek treatment for health issues ranging from pink eye to bronchitis. Not only is this convenient for a busy parent with a sick child who cannot wait the going rate of 19 days to be seen in-person by a family physician, but $50 is also a significant discount compared to a $100 urgent care visit or a $1,000 trip to the ER.

North Carolina’s community health centers are using RelyMD to provide patients with after-hours care and when their facilities are closed. The partnership began in 2016 with Piedmont Health’s Scott Community Health Center in Burlington, NC. One year later, RelyMD expanded its presence to fill in health care gaps for patients who frequent all ten of Piedmont’s locations.

In addition, Employers such as Onslow Memorial Hospital and Well Care Home Health have incorporated RelyMD into their employees’ health benefit packages.

To read up on more of the benefits telemedicine has to offer, read my latest Health Care Update here.

Katherine Restrepo / Director Of Healthcare Policy

Katherine Restrepo is the Director of Healthcare policy at the John Locke Foundation. Before joining the John Locke Foundation, she interned at the Cato Institute under the di...

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