- Heal, a startup providing same-day medical house calls for adults and children, acquired Doctors on Call, a similar service for elderly and homebound patients in the New York City area, for $15 million in cash and stock Monday.
- With the acquisition, Heal will be available to 75 million people in Atlanta, California, New York, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. The company estimates that more than 100 physicians will perform 100,000 house calls this year across a range of services including urgent care, adult primary care, pediatrics and preventive care.
- Heal, founded in 2014, uses technology to automate administrative tasks, such as scheduling, billing and connecting patients and physicians, who are independent contractors. The company has so far raised about $70 million, including $20 million in its most recent funding round.
Proponents of mobile medical care say it offers patient convenience through services in their home and scheduling through an app on their phone or computer. And because physicians see patients at home, it's easier for them to spot potential issues with social determinants of health. They can also review all of a patient's medications, noting potentially harmful drug interactions or other concerns.
The mobile care model also may prove to be an effective way to provide services to a growing senior population, which the U.S. Census Bureau estimates will grow to 83.7 million by 2050. By helping seniors manage chronic medical conditions and physical limitations proactively, house calls may lead to fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits.
Heal's executives say its service has reduced urgent care and emergency department visits by up to 71% in the markets where it operates and generated annual savings in overall healthcare costs of about $53.7 million.
Payers are embracing this model of care. Los Angeles-based Heal has inked contracts with all major PPO plans in California and New York, as well as with Medicare, and the company says it will soon be an in-network provider with other insurers. For patients without insurance, Heal charges $159 per house call.
Heal's investors include Fidelity ContraFund, Bascom Ventures, Inflection Capital, IRA Capital, RLJ Equity Partners, Trans-Pacific Technology Fund, Lionel Richie and others.
Doctors on Call, which was launched in 1968, provided 42,000 house calls last year, managing chronic medical conditions, post-hospital recovery and sick care in New York City, Long Island and parts of Westchester County.
Nick Desai, co-founder and CEO of Heal, told Healthcare Dive last year that 80% of Heal's patients schedule their first visit for an urgent care need and then transition to other services, such as chronic disease management, pediatrics and preventive care.