Running a health clinic isn’t exactly a leisurely enterprise. Among the headaches is paperwork — providers are required to file an average of 20,000 forms every year — not to mention operating expenses. It costs nearly $250 billion to process 30 billion health care transactions a year, and the average organization spends about $20 in labor to file a single paper document.
That’s where companies like Sunnyvale, California-based DrChrono come in. It’s the brainchild of Daniel Kivatinos and Michael Nusimow, who cofounded the startup in 2009 with the goal of developing a clinic management platform optimized for mobile platforms like Apple’s iOS. It went on to raise $28.7 million across seed, debt, and series A funding rounds, and to attract tens of thousands and 17.8 million physicians and patients, respectively, who booked 69 million appointments and processed more than $11 billion in billing combined.
In anticipation of growth this year, DrChrono recently raised $20 million in debt financing from Orix Growth Capital, which COO Kivatinos says will be used to further develop the company’s mobile, electronic health record, and medical billing services and to expand its engineering, sales, and support teams. “The Orix team has funded some of the best healthcare entrepreneurs and companies in the world. We are extremely excited about this partnership,” he added. “With our platform and services evolving and maturing, we are in an excellent position to bring the DrChrono platform to larger facilities and specialty practices.”
DrChrono’s solutions suite is designed to be customizable for practices’ needs, with built-in functions like free drawing, medical speech-to-text, lab ordering, and e-prescribing. Medical templates and forms come in tow, as do files that can be used to create baseline health data and monitor each patient’s health measurements over time. Clinicians are able to send electronic prescriptions including controlled substances directly to patients, and thanks to integration with over 40,000 labs around the U.S., they can submit orders from a mobile device or the web into medical charts.
Patients gain access to educational material and up-to-date histories and health records through an online system, as well as secure messages sent via a HIPAA-compliant private messaging portal. And they’re able to check in online before they arrive at the office, minimizing waiting time.
On the practice management side of the equation, DrChrono offers appointment profiles with predetermined time blocks and medical billing codes, and it performs checks of patients’ insurance details for deductibles, co-payment, and co-insurance ahead of treatments that necessitate pre-approval. The platform collects payment details including credit card numbers and billing addresses, and it optionally sends email, phone, and text message reminders in advance of upcoming appointments. Its external-facing calendar tool lets patients schedule and virtually queue for follow-ups.
Kivatinos says that DrChrono’s billing tools reduce data entry and set up the most common diagnoses and billing codes, all of which are collated in a dashboard from which denials can be viewed and resolved, and that it automates the claims submissions process to ensure revenue isn’t lost. “Billing is laborious and time-consuming on medical practices, [which hire] several billers and coders to do simple and repetitive tasks that [machine learning] can help with,” he told VentureBeat via email. “[O]ne of the … projects we are working on is focused on just this — our goal is to really allow the practice to do their work and have [machine learning] give real-time insights.”
DrChrono isn’t the only startup competing for a slice of the multi-billion-dollar practice management software market. There’s Luma Health, which last August raised $16 million to build out its family of cloud-based doctor appointment booking products, and LeanTaaS, which in December 2019 nabbed $40 million for its AI-powered clinic operations optimization solution. But Orix managing director David Orlandella believes that DrChrono’s offerings are more holistic than most.
“After meeting the DrChrono executive team, we were excited about their vision of the future, where healthcare will simply work for physicians and for their patients on a modern platform,” said Orlandella in a statement. “Clearly having a modern cloud-based platform is part of the future. We loved the ecosystem of extendible apps that can be layered onto the platform, making it a powerful operating system of any medical practice.”
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