One of the nations’ largest telemedicine providers is now going public. Specialists On Call, Inc. (d/b/a SOC Telemed) has been acquired by Healthcare Merger Corp. (NASDAQ: HCCO), a special purpose acquisition company, for $720 million from Warburg Pincus. Institutional Investors including BlackRock Inc.Baron Capital Group, and ClearBridge Investments, have committed to a private investment of $165 million in the combined company.  

SOC’s current management and equity holders, including Warburg Pincus, will roll a portion of their equity into the new SOC, and the proceeds generated by the transaction will be used to pay down existing debt. Once the merger is complete, the new company will operate as SOC Telemed and will be listed on the Nasdaq. 

SOC Telemed provides services to 847 facilities including 543 acute care hospitals in 47 states, including 19 of the 25 largest U.S. health systems. SOC is the largest provider of acute teleNeurology and telePsychiatry and has delivered over one million acute care consultations. 

Warburg Pincus acquired SOC Telemed in 2014 for $32 million, long before telemedicine and telehealth became the norm in the healthcare industry. The partnership produced two deals, according to DSO. In February 2017, SOC Telemed acquired NeuroCall, Inc. for an undisclosed sum. NeuroCall provides tele-stroke and tele-neurology services to acute care hospitals, critical access hospitals, and freestanding emergency rooms. The company also provides general neurology coverage via two-way real-time video consultation. The deal gave SOC Telemed a network of more than 350 acute care hospitals and systems nationwide for tele-neurology consultations. 

And then in August 2018, SOC Telemed bought JSA Health, which provides telepsychiatry services in emergency settings, community health clinics, learning institutions, and correctional facilities. 

It was only a matter of time before telehealth produced another large deal, especially with the increase in demand due to COVID-19. Back in April, a report from Frost & Sullivan estimated that telehealth services are expected to see a year-over-year increase of 64.3%. However, as we see COVID cases surge across the country, that demand might be even higher as the year goes on.