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Troy Telemedicine Company Anticipates Adding More Clients Outside of New York State In 2019



Albany Business Review

A Troy telemedicine provider expects to add more clients outside of New York state in 2019. The company plans to hire more doctors and staff to accommodate the growth.

United Concierge Medicine currently serves between 3 million and 5 million people nationwide. CEO and co-founder Keith Algozzine says the company anticipates adding more customers across the country next year.

"We continue to just be triple-digit growth," Algozzine said on a call Wednesday with the Business Review and Gary Dake of Stewart's Shops, a client of United Concierge Medicine. "Ironically, we're growing much faster outside of New York state than in New York state."

Algozzine and Dr. Michael Bibighaus founded the telemedicine company in Troy in 2014 as Upstate Concierge Medicine. They rebranded to United Concierge Medicine in the spring of 2017 as they looked to take on more clients nationwide.

Heading into the 2019 open enrollment season next month, Algozzine said about 75 percent of the company's growth will likely come from outside of New York, including in Florida and Texas.

"In Florida and Texas, there just seems to be a larger number of employers that are moving into the self-insured world," Algozzine said.

Telemedicine may be particularly appealing to self-insured employers because it can help keep workers out of the emergency room and urgent care facilities, which are expensive.

Cost savings and more convenient options for employees are among the benefits Dake has seen from using United Concierge Medicine at Stewart's Shops, his chain of 337 convenience stores in New York and Vermont. Stewart's is self-insured.

Stewart's began offering United Concierge Medicine services last year to its employees who are on the company's health insurance. About 1,300 employees are enrolled with United Concierge Medicine. The service covers their dependents as well.

To date, the company estimates it has seen about $125,000 in net savings, Dake said.

"Now, you could say on $11 million of health spend … that $125,000 isn't much," Dake said. "First of all, $125,000 is a lot of money. [And] you're not going to move the big numbers when you've got a large group of people, but we are saving money."

Dake believes his employees are getting better care for less money and more conveniently. He's looking into whether to offer the service to all employees in the future but has one hesitation.

"We are nervous about, will we [convince] people into dropping insurance who otherwise would get insurance?" he said.

As much as he likes the telemedicine offerings, Dake says his employees need health insurance, too.

"It's not going to help you pay the bills if you get a cancer diagnosis," Dake said.

As Algozzine prepares for additional clients next year, he expects to hire more people to handle the growth. He has about 30 to 40 staff members and around 75 providers on the payroll.

"We'll add another 10, 20 providers in 2019. We'll probably add another 10, 20 support staff," he said. "That will support millions of more lives going forward."

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