Included Health Lunges Into Virtual Specialty Care

Included Health

Where do you go when you’re already tackling primary care, behavioral health, and second opinions? If you’re Included Health, you swim straight upstream to specialty care.

The three bullet history lesson on Included looks something like this:

  • In 2021, Grand Rounds (virtual second opinions) and Doctor on Demand (on-demand visits for physical and mental health) merged to provide integrated virtual care.
  • The combined company entered care navigation, and now provides benefits guidance, financial support, and advocacy services to more members than possibly every other navigator in the country.
  • To make sure every patient felt this care was built just for them, the company acquired Included Health (culturally aware care for underserved communities), and here we are.

Specialty care is a natural continuation of that vision, starting with a trio of centers prepped for a 2025 debut: the Cancer Center, the Center for Women’s Health, and the Center for Metabolic Health. 

  • Members will have access to a specialist-led care team with integrated primary and mental healthcare, as well as in-home support for prescriptions, diagnostics, and monitoring. That all happens with a single member record, one central form of billing, a unified medical history, within the context of available benefits.
  • It’s a giant undertaking, but it’s made possible by roots in expert second opinions that helped grow a nationwide network of 4,000+ specialists and collaborations with over 40 health systems (not to mention a seriously well-rounded partner ecosystem) . 

The real strength of the expansion lies in the fact that it isn’t so much a new service line as a massive enhancement to a platform with all of the primary care, behavioral health, and navigation ingredients already baked in.

  • Outside of large orgs with the resources to try and coordinate the same breadth of offerings, few companies have had the scale, track record, and plain-old resources to cross the chasm into actual specialty care delivery. 

That means Included’s real competition will likely be Included. Can it scale without sacrificing quality? Can it deliver care for “all” that feels like care for “you”? Can it connect the dots between virtual specialists and the in-person care that will inevitably come into play?

The Takeaway

Included Health’s specialty care expansion hits the center of the bullseye with both patients seeking more cohesive care journeys and partners looking to right-size inflated portfolios of point solutions. That strategy also happens to be a good way to land on the shortlist of healthcare companies poised for a major IPO.

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