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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.

Go deeper

13 mins ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine.

Updated 44 mins ago - Economy & Business

S&P 500 on track for worst-ever start to year

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Stocks suffered their steepest drop of the year early Monday, putting the S&P 500 on course for its worst-ever start to a year.

Driving the news: The benchmark S&P 500 dropped for its fifth straight day, with losses nearing 3% in early trading, momentarily putting it on track to fall into a "correction." Some of the steepest losses were recovered in early afternoon trading.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

Health care workers hit new breaking point

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The ranks of health care workers are dwindling and stretching what it means to be reaching their "breaking points," particularly at small nonprofit hospitals.

The big picture: Even as Omicron cases have begun to wane in some places, many hospitals are still fielding a crush of patients amid record employee callouts.