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Ria Health, a leading telehealth provider specializing in alcohol use disorder (AUD) treatment, announced June 29th the closing of $18 million in Series A funding led by SV Health Investors, LLC (“SV”). SV limited partner, BPEA Private Equity, and current Ria Health investor, SOSV, participated in the financing.
The announcement comes after commercial partnerships have been formed with regional and national health plans, including Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, UnitedHealth Group Optum, Beacon Health Options, Highmark Health, and Magellan Health, among others.
Telemedicine is a fairly new digital health discipline that keeps making the lives of providers easier, improving healthcare access, and delivering better patient outcomes. This specific area of medicine is growing at a very fast pace, causing a serious disruption in healthcare nowadays. According to the latest data, the telemedicine market size will most probably grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.2 percent to hit over $130 billion by 2025, up from $26.5 billion in 2018.
The health professionals are embracing the use of telemedicine, according to recent data, even after the coronavirus pandemic became less of a threat.
The American Medical Association completed a survey, released March 23rd, which found that most physician respondents say they’re currently using telehealth, and many of the ones reporting a decrease are in fact providing a mix of virtual and in-person care to their patients.
Ria Health has been providing a comprehensive telehealth alcohol treatment program since 2016. The Company was the first AUD provider to receive The Joint Commission accreditation based on providing evidence-based treatment protocols and clinical quality measured by patient outcomes.
Ria Health will use the recently acquired funds to expand care delivery aiming to meet demand for AUD treatment from health plans, multi-state employers, Taft-Hartley plans, and healthcare providers. Drinking alcohol has increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with recent studies indicating that excessive drinking among U.S. adults is up more than 35 percent.
“More than 1 in 10 adults struggle with alcohol use disorder, and for the past 40 years the one-size-fits-all approach to multi-addiction treatment has yielded poor results,” said Tom Nix, CEO of Ria Health. “Ria Health’s mission is to increase access to our clinically effective, evidenced-based treatment that meets the preferences of people who have AUD and removes the barriers of stigma, cost, and inconvenience.”
Ria Health’s expert providers help patients set personalized goals, which may focus on clinically-measured reduction of alcohol misuse rather than abstinence. Patients utilize a combination of one-on-one coaching, medical support, digitally connected breathalyzers, and physician prescribed medications to systematically reduce the adverse impacts of AUD and treat co-occurring mental illness.
Ria Health’s telemedicine program offers encouragement and effective alcohol treatment solutions to people living in Chicago and throughout Illinois. There are no in-person office visits, ever. Instead, you’ll receive convenient and secure alcohol treatment through our HIPAA-compliant app, anywhere in the state. Medical check-ins, coaching, and more are all managed remotely.
Ria Health patient outcomes show that within 30 days, 70% of patients reduce their World Health Organization (WHO) risk drinking level, and over 12 months, more than 80% of patients reduce their WHO risk drinking level. In addition, studies show that patients who subsequently reduce their WHO risk drinking level report clinically significant improvements in how they feel and function. These improvements include a lower risk for alcohol dependence, less severe alcohol-related consequences, reduced health care costs, improved mental health, improved quality of life, improved liver function, and lower systolic blood pressure.
“As drinking rose dramatically during the pandemic, Ria Health’s talented founders and management team led the way with innovative treatment of alcohol use disorder by combining pharmacological and behavioral support,” said Michael Balmuth, Managing Partner at SV, who has joined the Ria Health board. “Ria Health’s clinical approach and high-quality outcomes will continue to transform the substance use treatment industry.”
Over their lifetime, 1 in 10 adults will struggle with alcohol use disorder, the third-leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Ria Health envisions a world with accessible, effective, and compassionate treatment for people who suffer from alcohol misuse. Ria Health is the first evidence-based telehealth treatment program for people who want to drink less and live better by changing their relationship with alcohol. The company combines medical science, technology, and human compassion to help people rapidly improve their lives with a simple, online alcohol treatment program that works.
SV Health Investors is a growth equity and venture capital firm dedicated to investments in the healthcare and life sciences sector. Founded in 1993 with offices in Boston and London, SV has approximately $2.7B in assets under management across multiple investment strategies. SV’s dedicated healthcare growth fund – SV7 Growth Fund – seeks to partner with experienced management teams to accelerate the success of innovative healthcare companies across tech-enabled healthcare services, medical products, and digital health. SV combines decades of healthcare transaction and operating experience to drive long-term value creation and realize the triple aim of healthcare – higher quality care, accessible to more patients, at a lower cost.