Inbox Health, a medical billing startup has bagged $3.5 million in venture funding, which was led by Healthy Ventures, who were joined by Collaborative Fund and Commerce Ventures.
There was also participation from existing investors Connecticut Innovations, I2BF Global Ventures, Startup Health, and others..
The money, Inbox Health said, will be used to expand into thousands of new practices, helping deliver modern patient communication and seamless billing experiences to more than one million people.
Personalizing the billing experience
“The current industry-standard static billing systems of today treat patients like numbers. But behind every bill is a unique person with unique needs, preferences, and payment ability profiles. Our mission is to power billing experiences that focus on who the patient is, honoring the patient experience while delivering top-notch results,” Inbox Health Chief Executive Officer and co-founder, Blake Walker, said.
Inbox Health launched its operating system for billers in 2018. The company says it delivers substantial patient billing and payment experiences for billing companies and their practices. Their operating system analyzes millions of data points across its entire customer base, empowering billers to personalize each patient’s billing, payment, and communication experience to drive significantly greater patient collections and patient experiences.
Furthermore, the company’s platform automates the patient communication process using bi-directional correspondence, proprietary algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence so every patient understands their medical bills and has access to different payment mechanisms. As a result, medical billers and providers achieve optimal patient receivables.
The New Haven, CT-based startup powers more than one thousand practices, and 4.5 million patients across the U.S., with more than $1.3 billion of healthcare spending under management.
Last year, Inbox Health closed a $4.4 million seed funding round. At the time, it said it would use the capital to modernize billing.
Why Health Ventures participated
Enmi Kendall, co-founder and General Partner of Healthy Ventures, said: “Inbox operates within the $1 trillion dollar market opportunity of infrastructure needed to facilitate consumer healthcare payments. The company’s differentiated distribution strategy of partnering with billers – a key part of the ecosystem – and the leadership team’s product-first DNA are exactly the right combinations for this market. It takes a singular team to bring a smart, intentional product to serve both billers and end-user patients.”
Following the funding round, Healthy Ventures now has a seat on the Inbox Health board and has secured 12 percent of the startup.
In a blogpost, Healthy Ventures explained that it saw potential in Inbox Health’s platform because it was operating in an underserved market.
“Historically, there was no real need for it because we, consumer patients ourselves, were responsible for such a small portion of the healthcare dollar. This is quickly changing, as more of us are covered under high-deductible healthcare plans (almost a third of all Americans). And all insurance plans broadly are being designed to push more costs onto patients in the form of higher co-pays and co-insurance maxes,” Healthy Ventures wrote.
It further said Inbox Health’s software smartly served the billing service providers who have doctor offices as their underlying customers, a more scalable distribution strategy than directly targeting doctors as customers.
Tejinder Gill, Principal at Collaborative Fund, said Inbox Health had uncovered a unique approach to modernizing payment for millions of patients and hundreds of thousands of providers – through the billing companies that service them. “We are fortunate and excited to be joining them on this journey towards building the modern operating system for healthcare billing.”
Investor interest in billing companies
The Mercom Capital Group says Healthcare billing companies have raised over $300 million since 2010.
Mercom Capital reported that Inbox Health is in the same space with Patientco, a patient billing and payments technology company that raised $28 million in Series B, Cedar, a medical billing platform for hospitals, health systems, and independent medical groups that raised $36 million in Series B and Hint Health, a provider of cloud-based healthcare billing software and services, that secured $10 million in Series A
The billing space is having a look in from big investors, as illustrated by JPMorgan’s acquisition of InstaMed last year.
It is estimated that automating claims-related business transactions could save providers and health plans more than $11 billion annually.