- Heal, a Los Angeles-based provider of in-house primary care services, including physician house calls, has expanded. It is now being offered in Illinois, the Carolinas and Louisiana. Previously, its services were mostly confined to the East Coast.
- Currently, Heal is available in 11 states and the District of Columbia and can reach 134 million Americans, the company said. It offers a combination of house calls and telemedicine services essentially on demand.
- The startup, which has raised $164.1 million in venture capital, touts the service as a way for underinsured or underemployed patients to save money on healthcare services. The company claims demand for its services rose more than 500% in the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Heal’s goal is to bring back house calls, previously a staple of American culture, as a cost-cutting measure and enhance it with remote monitoring and telemedicine services — with the latter creating the intimacy of a house call without the need to travel. Heal also claims that such setups allow doctors to make a more careful evaluation of their patients and order treatment regimens that dovetail with their social determinants of health.
So far, it appears to be working. Although Heal has authorized the relatively modest sum of 250,000 physician house calls since the company was founded in 2014, COVID-19 has led to a huge boom in volume, which has increased 540% over the past year. Heal has also has made some strategic acquisitions, including Doctors on Call in 2019.
As a result, Heal has been emboldened to expand into other markets, including three southern states with relatively high rates of uninsured and no expansion of Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. It also operates in states with much higher rates of insured such as New York and New Jersey.
Heal CEO Nick Desai said in a statement the company has saved its customers some $88 million in healthcare costs by cutting down on avoidable hospital emergency room visits and other examples of cost overutilization of care.
Meanwhile, Heal is expected to have some competition in the coming years. Initial public offerings for telehealth and primary care companies are booming. One Medical, SOC Telemed and Hims & Hers are among such companies that have gone public in recent months.