HomeStart-up Homeward Raises $50 Million to Ensure Patients in Rural Areas Get More Doctors

Start-up Homeward Raises $50 Million to Ensure Patients in Rural Areas Get More Doctors

Homeward, a company committed to rearchitecting the delivery of health and care in partnership with communities everywhere, starting in rural America, announced August 3rd a $50 million Series B funding round co-led by ARCH Venture Partners and Human Capital. The funding round also includes participation from General Catalyst, which led Homeward’s Series A funding, and Lee Shapiro and Glen Tullman, Co-Founders of 7wireVentures, one of the country’s most successful early stage healthcare venture funds.

Launched in March, the company already has big extension plan

Led by key executives who drove Livongo’s success, Homeward, a new company focused on improving access to high-quality, affordable primary and specialty care in rural communities, was launched back in March, with an initial $20 million investment from General Catalyst.

Now, Homeward also announced its first value-based care partnership with Priority Health to deliver comprehensive care to Medicare Advantage members in rural Michigan. The company will use the new funds to accelerate expansion into new markets through value-based contracts with health plans. Homeward will also invest in scaling its on-the-ground and virtual multidisciplinary care teams, including specialty care, as it expands into additional states in the coming months. Homeward’s commitment to innovation extends to payment for care. It will replace the fee-for-service model – which defaults to in-clinic care settings and limits the ability to leverage new, innovative technology and services – in favor of a value-based model. Homeward will embrace the responsibility and risk of improving the health of its patients as well as their care experience – all while reducing costs. This is especially important since Medicare sequestration and the COVID-19 pressure on the whole healthcare system deeply impacted medical professionals and, of course, patients, as explained by dr. Paul MacKoul.  

Rural areas inhabitants have less access to quality and consistent healthcare

Americans living in rural communities are experiencing increasing health disparities due to accelerated rural hospital closures and physician shortages. In fact, Americans living in rural communities suffer a mortality rate 23 percent higher than those in urban communities due to the lack of access to quality care.

Compared to their urban counterparts, who have only to decide and choose the best care, based on the reputation of the medical professionals, people who live in rural areas usually have no easy access to quality and consistent healthcare, something Homeward plans to change.   

“Despite the fact that nearly one in five Americans live in rural communities, our current healthcare system is ill-equipped to support these individuals with consistent access to high-quality care,” said Dr. Jennifer Schneider, chief executive officer of Homeward. “Homeward’s partnership with Priority Health is a monumental step to provide convenient, personalized, and high-quality care to Medicare beneficiaries across Michigan, but we are just getting started. Our target market is tightly distributed among a small handful of health plans. In fact, approximately 90 percent of Medicare-eligible beneficiaries who live in rural markets are covered by seven payers. This funding enables us to reach rural populations even faster in partnership with health plans and local physicians.”

Homeward improves convenient access to care, and investors are backing the plan

Homeward is an in-network provider that deploys an integrated care model including mobile, community-based care and technology. Through this approach, Homeward improves convenient access to care, supports ongoing health management, and appropriately triages clinical services to help healthcare professionals practice at the top of their licensure. Homeward providers see members in mobile clinics throughout the community, virtually, and in members’ homes. These teams conduct physical exams, perform diagnostic tests, and integrate with regional health systems, local physicians, and specialists to provide care coordination, referring members to local in-person services as needed. Using cellular-based remote monitoring, Homeward keeps members connected to their multidisciplinary care team wherever they are, and uses the information to deliver a deeply personalized care experience and positive health outcomes.

“Homeward is spearheading a transformational change in how healthcare is delivered and paid for in rural communities,” said Robert Nelsen, co-founder and managing director at ARCH Venture Partners. “We prioritize investing in bold, industry-changing business models and proven leadership teams, and we’re confident that Homeward will deliver on its commitment to overcome the traditional access barriers in rural markets.”

“Homeward has combined an impactful mission with what we believe to be an incredible leadership team,” said Armaan Ali, co-founder and chief executive officer of Human Capital. “We’re impressed with their early success as they continue improving access to care while also striving to uplift communities within the markets they serve. We’re excited to help build what we feel is a world-class team at Homeward.”

About Homeward

Homeward is rearchitecting rural health and care for the 60 million Americans living in rural communities. As a new value-based care provider, Homeward employs multidisciplinary care teams, available in-home, virtually, and on the ground via mobile care units, with remote monitoring to better connect patients to high-quality, affordable, and comprehensive care. Today, the company supports Medicare-eligible beneficiaries, including by partnering with Medicare Advantage plans, and takes full risk for the cost of care of its members to improve outcomes and reduce costs.

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