The company plans to expand into home care services beyond trips to and from the doctor
What we consider health and healthcare has grown rapidly in recent years. It’s no longer just the 15-minute personal visit to a doctor, it’s all the things we do in our life, from what we eat, how we sleep, to our social interactions.
One of the most important of these so-called social determinants of health is transportation, or the ability to actually get to and from the doctor. When people miss their appointments or miss treatment, it can lead to poorer health outcomes and more expensive care. Fortunately, insurance companies actually offer transportation as a benefit. Unfortunately, this system still doesn’t work that well, with massive inefficiencies and long waiting times.
This is what Joshua Itano saw while working at Alignment Healthcare and led him to found CareCar, a company that uses a marketplace mode for providing health transportation. On Thursday, the company announced a $ 3 million seed capital round, led by Kapor Capital and Impact America Fund, which will be a co-investor in Concrete Rose.
“We created these transportation advantages for our patients because transportation is a real barrier to supplying our patient population, especially in Medicare and Medicaid. We had the solution, we had the advantage, but our partners just didn’t really stick to it.” We wanted this experience to work from a patient standpoint, “he said.
“For example, if you are a patient enrolled on a Medicare plan, you have this benefit. You have to apply three days in advance or you will not get service or transportation. But sometimes things go right, you have to today See your GP, you have to go to emergency care, and you have to see a specialist, and that was a no-go with the status quo. “
Additionally, many existing providers didn’t use technology, and there wasn’t much control and management over what was going on, leading to stories of patients who sometimes had to wait literally hours to get home from an appointment.
CareCar’s solution to these problems is to use a Market platform approach in which the company has independent nursing and medical assistants and people with this background on board to transport patients to and from the doctor in their own vehicles. The company calls these caregivers its “foster partners,” and there are currently 400 of them on the platform who not only get verified with standard background checks, but understand if they have the temperament for this type of job.
“We know they can provide a really good patient experience and understand patients from a holistic healthcare perspective. These people are the core of our network on our platform as they encounter these patients on a daily basis, “said Itano.
On the CareCar patient page primarily deals with Medicare and Medicaid patients who have transportation barriers to their care, usually due to physiological or socio-economic problems. That’s why the company works with health plans that create these benefits and Subsidize the cost of these transports so patients don’t have to pay.
Typically, patients make appointments through phone callsHowever, you can also book through the company’s website where they will get in touch with a care coordinator who will guide them through the events. As soon as the request is received by the CareCar system, it is forwarded to the network, regardless of whether it is the same day or the next. A nurse accepts this and then goes to the patient’s home to pick them up. you will be Help them get in and out, this nurse will also take them to their appointment and then actually escort them to the doctor’s office to make sure they are actually okay. When the appointment is complete, the patient calls CareCar or sends them a text message that they are ready to go home.
In addition, the company also has local partners who are fleet owners, such as ambulance companies, who also use its software, and then it also has integrations with the ride-sharing partners like Lyft and Uber. The company will Determine if a particular patient will need a caregiver or if they can take a lift, depending on their specific needs.
CareCar currently administers additional benefits for approximately 150,000 patients in California and North Carolina. The value to them, Itano explained, is that they get Someone who is reliable and can adequately take care of their needs.
“With this model of market network platform delivery we can guarantee this reliability and adequacy. The ROI for the patient is that they have reliable access and that transportation is no longer an obstacle as their health plan has decided to sign a contract with CareCar “, he said.
Ultimately, however, CareCars Customer is the health plan as they pay for the services and part of the company’s value is to help Collect data that will not only help the patient but also help the health plan better manage the risk.
To the For example, there are situations where hospitals discharge someone who is bedridden but has no caregiver at home. In this situation, CareCar will reach out to the health plan case management team so they can coordinate future long-term care and get help with in-home support. Bringing this patient to long-term care is likely to avoid readmission to hospital, which can cost anywhere from $ 3,500 to $ 4,500 per day.
Another example was a dialysis patient who told CareCar they didn’t feel like walking for a day. When that became two days, the company let know the health plan, and I dialyzed someone at home with this member over the weekend, which avoided hospitalization.
“That’s a real cost. You can imagine that if we do two or three of these a month, the service almost pays for itself. On top of that, more people who have access to regular care will also consume less critical costly services “said Itano.
“When the patient calls for services behind the scenes, we are constantly reviewing the data and trying to see if that data can work with the health plan to improve a person’s health.”
CareCar plans to use the funds to increase the number of care partners on the platform. The company plans close to 750 by the end of the year and around 1,000 over the next 12 months. It also tests new markets; The service is currently available in California and North Carolina, and the company is reviewing 13 potential new states to roll out specifically in Florida, Arizona, and Texas as these are states with growing senior populations high Medicare Advantage penetration.
The company also plans to expand its senior home care services. This is a preview of CareCar’s long-term plan to not only provide transportation services, but also to use its care partners to provide home care.
“When we built our models, we just wanted to redesign the hell out of transportation. So we made sure that the carers are the actual people doing these services. After a while, these carers are because of their natural environment home care is, to take care of the patients it has just started, it was a network effect in and of itself, and we realized that we have all these caregivers on our platform, we need to do more with them and them do it by then capture the data we provide. What else can we do? “said Itano.
Through interacting with care partners and their patients, the company found that there are many gaps in elderly care, as they have done Restrictions that prevent them from doing everyday activities such as bathing, self-care, self-preparation, and grocery shopping. CareCar plans to use its Network to provide these services efficiently, similar to what is now used for transport
Caregivers can go into these patients’ homes and help them an hour or two a day, which also helps those patients with social isolation. The caregiver can also check the house for security issues and coordinate some changes to the house, for example.
CareCar’s ultimate goal, Itano said, is to make sure of that that every single senior in the US has access to these services through CareCar.
“All of these things that are not clinical, that are good for their health, all of these things that CareCar is supposed to be there for, so that we can give all these patients full access to care and support.”