Heal has raised $20 million in a new round of funding to enable doctors to make house calls in more parts of the country.
The Los Angeles company has now raised more than $69 million in its attempt to transform health care in the U.S.
The investment comes from Bascom Ventures, Inflection Capital, IRA Capital, RLJ Equity Partners, and Trans-Pacific Technology Fund. An existing investor who also participated was Lionel Richie. Heal will use this new capital to pursue new markets, explore new business models, and advance its technology.
“Over the last three years, we’ve re-established unhurried, relationship-based house calls as a gateway for cost controls and improved outcomes throughout the healthcare industry,” said Heal chief medical officer Renee Dua, in a statement. “Now it’s time to realize the full potential of Heal to truly reboot the US healthcare system for patients, providers, and payers.”
Since its March 2015 launch, Heal has delivered over 60,000 house calls and driven health care cost savings of over $1,050 per patient, per year, compared to traditional care alternatives, said Nick Desai, CEO of Heal, in an interview with VentureBeat. So far, the company has helped save $40 million in health care costs, according to Desai.
Desai founded the company in October 2014 after a bad experience in the emergency room with his son.
“We said, ‘There has to be a better way to see doctors, lower operating costs, and pass those savings on,'” Desai said. “We can do on-demand house calls and improve the quality of those calls.”
The company is an in-network provider with many PPO insurance plans from all major insurance companies, including Blue Shield of California, Health Net, Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, CareFirst, and others.
Heal is also offered as a health benefit option by many large employers. Heal’s proprietary technology platform lowers health care operating costs and bureaucracy by 65 percent, making Heal the first to offer house calls from licensed doctors at in-network rates, Desai said.
He said it won’t help U.S. health care to cram more people into waiting rooms or further distance doctors from their patients. The revolution of Heal is in the fundamental change in focus from quantity to quality, delivered by qualified and caring doctors, in your home, Desai said.
“There are a lot of short-sighted approaches out there, like telemedicine, which pulls the doctor further apart from the patient,” Desai said. “And we need to get the doctor together with patients earlier, long before they go to the emergency room.”
Having recently expanded its coverage area to include Sacramento and the Inland Empire, Heal is now available to over 70 percent of California residents and to most residents in Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia.
“Heal’s platform uniquely empowers doctors to be doctors — spending their time treating patients rather than typing notes,” said Herb Lin, managing partner for Trans-Pacific Technology Fund, in a statement. “The time Heal doctors spend with patients in their home environment is the fulcrum for enabling patients to lead healthier, disease free lives that dramatically lower healthcare costs too. Since TPTF is based in Taiwan, with leading institutional investors from Asia and Europe, we are extremely excited to work closely with the Heal team in leveraging our infrastructure and relationships as Heal’s added value investor/partner to support expansion plans.”
Heal delivers on-demand or scheduled house calls 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 365 days a year. While frequently used for urgent care and routine illnesses, Heal is increasingly being seen as the first choice for primary care by payers, partners, and patients alike.
By enabling timely care and visits that last up to 28 minutes — more than twice as long as the national average of 13 minutes — Heal contributes to better outcomes for patients who enjoy personalized care from their doctors, in the comfort of their home or office. Heal now offers comprehensive disease management for the 60 percent of Americans who have one or more chronic illnesses.
Desai said that 50 percent of prescriptions are never taken by patients, partly because they don’t remember to do so. Doctors who visit on site can verify if pills are being taken.
The company has 45 employees, and it has access to 106 doctors and medical assistants.