30 Under 30 Alum Locks In Another $4 Million To Improve Patient Access To Specialists
By Nicole Fisher, Forbes, Contributor
JUNE 1, 2016 – Early this morning, RubiconMD announced the closing of their $4 million Series A financing, led by Waterline Ventures. There were also funds provided by North Carolina-based Dioko Health Ventures, a fund managed by Nashville-based FCA Venture Partners. And, according to cofounder and CEO Gil Addo (a member of the 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 list in Healthcare), the funding will be used to grow their eConsult platform, which allows primary care doctors to consult with specialists so that patients can receive better, more comprehensive care.
When pressed for growth opportunities this money will provide, Addo and RubiconMD cofounders Carlos Reines and Dr. Julien Pham highlight the importance of primary care to the entire health ecosystem, and how moving their services into primary care environments will help the team show their value by reducing inefficacy, saving patients time and money with specialists, lowering emergency department (ED) admissions and lowering costs as a result. This sounds lofty, but the premise of their platform is to allow primary care providers–the foundation of the U.S. health system–to access same-day insights from a panel of expert specialists, thereby avoiding having to refer patients, and inherently saving time, appointments, tests and costs.
Cofounder and COO Carlos Reines explains, “Once a primary care provider submits a case, our system uses smart routing to identify the appropriate specialist to review it. The provider will then receive an expert answer within a few hours. Through this process, we provide the insights needed to reduce patient wait days, optimize their care plan and avoid unnecessary referrals.”
“At the core of what we’re doing is building a tool that is integrated into the physician workflow, to support great primary care. Because primary care is the foundation of the system, real transformation to lower costs has to start there,” adds Addo. To do this, the company has gone beyond approaching traditional systems, and has targeted managed care organizations, value-based payers, employers with onsite health facilities, and, most recently, safety net hospitals. These include recent customers Callen Lorde Community Health Center in New York City and El Buen Samiritano in Texas.
RubiconMD has been working hard to validate its model by using customer dat,a such as images, lab results, studies and recommendations, collected across the 26 states it has implemented platforms. A previous study of providers using the system suggests that up to 97% of e-consults offered “meaningful support to clinicians, with 72% directly improving their care plans.” When few in the digital health space are focused on the base of the health pyramid–primary care–the opportunity to create value by reducing inefficacy and cost is great.