Health

Aver Informatics raises $8.5M to cure ailing health care billing system

Above: Aver Informatics founders Matt Frohliger and Kurt Brenkus

Image Credit: Aver Informatics

The science of getting paid is on the minds of a lot of health care providers, entrepreneurs, and investors these days. And a wave of new health-data startups have arrived to help the cause.

One of them is Aver Informatics, which has developed a data-management platform that hospitals and other health care providers use to simplify the process of billing insurance payers. The company has been getting some traction, and today it announced that it has taken $8.5 million in new funding from Drive Capital and GE Ventures.

“For the last three-plus years, we’ve been working hard to create a sustainable change in health care,” says Aver Informatics founder and CEO Kurt Brenkus in a statement. “Today is a pivotal moment for us that will help transform the health care reimbursement process, providing higher quality care to patients at a substantially lower cost to payers.”

How it works: Aver simplifies health providers’ process of billing payers (like the government or large insurers) by forming bundles of services (called “episodes of care”) associated with a single illness, as opposed to billing for each individual test or consult.

“An episode of care is a time-bound event in a patient’s life — like a pregnancy, diabetes, or pneumonia,” says Brenkus in an email to VentureBeat.

It bases these service bundles on past and present medical claims data, and it uses them for billing, which can result in less paper work and better reimbursements for providers. The bundles also dictate standard protocols for patient treatment and reduce the delivery of unnecessary, expensive services.

Green Bay, Wisc.-based Aver says it will use the new funding to “accelerate growth,” as well as hire new engineers and salespeople.

The company was founded in June 2010, and it its first year, it lived off $147,000 from a single seed investor. “During that time we built a proof of concept and found a paying customer,” says Brenkus in an email to VentureBeat. “After saving that customer $500,000 in three months we knew we had something.”

Before the current round, Aver had raised $2.5 million dollars and had amassed 15 customers, Brenkus says.

Aver was selected by GE and StartUp Health to be part of StartUp Health Academy, which accelerates growth for digital health companies.

And just to give its new investors some positive reinforcement after the deal, Aver also announced two large new customers: the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Molina Healthcare.

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