First Group of Telehealth Physicians and Advanced Practice Clinicians Unionize

Telehealth physicians and advanced practice clinicians at Bicycle Health have voted overwhelmingly to unionize with the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD).

“As telehealth continues to grow, it’s critical that the healthcare providers employed at these tech companies have workplace protections,” said Stuart Bussey, MD, JD, UAPD president. “The UAPD looks forward to working with Bicycle Health to negotiate a fair first contract for the providers who provide lifesaving care to individuals with opioid use disorder.” 

The bargaining unit consists of approximately 70 physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners across the United States who specialize in providing suboxone treatment.

Bicycle Health providers have issued the following joint statement regarding the unionization:

Today marks an important win for us as providers and for our patients. For the past couple years, Bicycle Health has placed increasingly untenable pressure on us, negatively impacting our well-being and our ability to take care of our patients struggling with opioid addiction. Our requests for change went ignored by corporate and medical leadership, so we sought representation through the UAPD.

We see the writing on the wall: our health care system is increasingly driven by investors and shareholders, by private equity and venture capital, where profits and ROI’s matter more than patient care. And when the going gets tough with higher interest rates and tighter funding, we see who truly matters to leadership. After we filed with the NLRB to form a union, we learned that the company was paying for the expensive, union-busting services of the same law firm used by Starbucks: Littler Mendelsson. A few weeks later, Bicycle Health laid off 15% of the company, including multiple medical providers. Our current at-will contracts have offered little protection or job security. How can we protect our patients’ health and recovery if we ourselves are unprotected?

Now that we have unionized, we hope that Bicycle Health leadership will finally listen. We hope that they will do the right thing and negotiate with us in finalizing a contract that protects our rights as health care workers and our ability to meet the needs of millions of people in the U.S. affected by the devastating opioid epidemic. Today, we took a big step towards fighting for each other in order to fulfill our greater mission of fighting for our patients and their families and communities.