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Teladoc is having accounting problems

Teladoc executives at the New York Stock Exchange.
Teladoc went public in 2015. Photo: MayApps207 / Wikimedia Creative Commons

Teladoc, a company that connects patients with doctors via video and phone, recently disclosed it has serious accounting problems tied to "stock-based compensation." Teladoc directed Axios to an investor relations firm after repeated inquiries, and the outside firm has not responded.

Why it matters: The health care industry views virtual care as an important way to treat common ailments in lower-cost settings. But Teladoc is the largest telemedicine company; its new blunders, on top of a long track record of losses, don't inspire confidence.

Key quote: "Management identified a material weakness relating to the accounting for certain fourth-quarter 2017 awards of stock-based compensation with unique or different terms than the company's standard stock awards," according to Teladoc's annual filing.

  • Executives did not address the accounting problems on the company's investor call.
  • Teladoc spent almost $31 million on stock-based pay in 2017.
  • Accounting employees will undergo "renewed training" on how to book stock awards, and the company has made other vague changes to its financial reporting, per the filing.
  • Teladoc hopes the problems will be fixed by the end of March, but there's no guarantee the company will avoid having to restate its finances.

The bottom line: Teladoc has lost $239 million since 2015, the year it went public.