Saturday, July 20, 2024

Q&A: Better Health scores $14M to scale medical support and supply company -Dlight News

Better Health, which provides an online store where patients can purchase ostomy, urology and diabetes products, and also receive peer support and educational content, announced it has secured $14 million in strategic funding, bringing its total raise to $27.5 million. 

Healthworx, UHealth  University of Miami Health System, Samsung Next and Mosaic General Partnership participated in the round, alongside existing investors Caffeinated Capital, General Catalyst, Bill Ackman’s family office Table Management, and

Naama Stauber Breckler, CEO and cofounder of Better Health, sat down with MobiHealthNews to discuss the recent funding round, how its investors complement its business goals and what is in store for 2024.

MobiHealthNews: What does Better Health plan to do with the $14 million investment?

Naama Stauber Breckler: We will continue to expand our offering to our payer and provider partners and, of course, the most important stakeholders, the patient – our members.  

Better Health has been really focused on this transition from initially going more directly to consumers, to partnering with providers and payers to serve their patients and their members. 

So, for that there are additional tools, like data sharing, that can be built for these partners to really make that integration smooth. We’re also investing in exploring different opportunities to integrate AI into our services. 

So, a lot of the work we do is taking away that tedious work from the health systems, so, from the providers themselves needing to coordinate care, from the payers, and, of course, from the patients  the members that we serve. We did a lot of the automation ourselves, but there are now even newer and more cutting-edge AI tools that we can integrate to make that process even more seamless, even more fast and easy for everyone.

MHN: How is digital health involved in your offering?

Breckler: If you look at the members that we serve, these are people with chronic conditions who depend on their home medical devices and supplies. So it’s hard, because, even if you live in a rural area and you get access to telehealth, you need a physical product in order to be able to be at home and not go to the hospital. 

So we have to make sure that the physical products are almost like the oxygen lifelines of people; without it, they can’t manage their lives. We have to ensure that part is super seamless, but then we also know that by itself is not enough, and people have to have the support, the knowledge to know how to make the most use of these products and best manage their health so they’ll stay outside the hospital. So we make that lifeline of getting a product super easy.  

The first thing we did was make it super simple and very automated. You can go online, manage your order, discover new products, see what your insurance will cover, what your part will be, how you can maximize your benefits and a lot of things that today are a black box to people. 

In addition to that, we have peer support services so you can also manage your communication with a peer, book your meetings and schedule through the online system.

MHN: How large is Better Health?

Breckler: We have around 50 team members with people in more than 15 states. We’re really a remote-first company. So we have a lot of people in the states where our members are. And we operate in 48 states. We have a network with over 150 payors that we work with. We work with dozens of different health systems, serving the patients that they refer to us.

We’ve also been working on a new type of managed care partnership with payors. As an in-network provider, we’re in-network for Cigna and Aetna, for example, so when their members come to us, we can serve them and bill the payor. 

But if we’re collaborating with a payor in a managed care partnership, we can work together in identifying the eligible population. We can do an engagement, education and innovation campaign, so then the payor can see the outcomes and the impacts of our services at a bigger scale, and we can just reach more of their members to enjoy this benefit and the services.

MHN: What are the investors in this strategic funding round bringing to your offering?

Breckler: Healthworx is the investment arm of CareFirst, Maryland’s blue plan. It also serves Virginia and D.C. We have strong relationships with many payors, but it’s different when you can get a much more intimate relationship as an investor. 

So, they have that really strong relationship and access to talk to someone like a design partner, and it is very similar to a lot of the other payors that we work with, and that helps us continue to hone and improve our offering, dive deeper to uncover additional needs that other payer partners might have. 

UHealth is another one of our investors. To have a health system as an investor also gives you a closer connection to drive more insights, continue to hone and improve our services, and, as a result, it allows us to develop better solutions. 

Mosaic is a phenomenal fund, and they bring a wealth of knowledge and connections with all of the different stakeholders in the health ecosystem. 

We also got an investment from Samsung Next. So, Samsung will continue to expand our offering in health. If you look at a lot of Samsung’s demographic, it’s older people, super relevant to expand the health offering, and I think our ability to get in the home together with Samsung’s ability to get in the home we think has the potential for interesting collaborations in the future.

MHN: What is in store for 2024?

Breckler: We’re also working on several implementations of these managed care partnerships that I mentioned, and for that, there needs to be a lot of building of tools for our payor partners. 

So, a big part of why payors want to partner with us in a managed care partnership is because, if you look at it generally, one of payors’ biggest problems, if not the biggest problem, is engagement. They’re able to engage with such a small percentage of their overall members, and if you can’t engage with them, you can’t get the person on the phone or email or something how can you impact their health outcomes? 

What’s really attractive to the payor, besides cost savings, is our ability to engage with members in such a powerful way and to build a relationship and trust with them that then translates to the relationship with the payor.

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