Heal, a startup focused on bringing high-quality, personalized medical care to patients in California, is moving the healthcare industry back to its roots. Instead of finding better ways to get patients to medical centers, it allows patients to order the services of a doctor for a flat fee.
Heal wants to bring back house calls, and it has found success in California where it has operated for about one year, served more than 10,000 patients in that time, and aligned itself with several major insurance carriers along the way. Company founder and chief executive officer Nick Desai, commented on the driving force behind why Heal does what it does:
“Everybody in America will get sick, everybody in America will go to the doctor, and everybody in America hates going to a doctor’s office,” Desai said, speaking in an interview with TechCrunch.
Desai’s operation recently gained a Series A round of funding equal to $26.9 million with support from Tull Investment Group, which led this round, alongside Breyer Capital, Hashtag One, Slow Ventures, Qualcomm Executive Chairman Paul Jacobs, and Skydance Media CEO David Ellison. The round led to a valuation of the new medical care provider of $110 million.
This round of funding will be essential, Heal said, to the continued development of its software, which allows patients to sign up for doctor visits, as well as its marketing efforts and ties to licensed physicians.
The doctors that work with Heal and with its patients collectively hold hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Patients can order doctors to their homes with the expectation to see one of them within a two-hour window. In that case, they will see whichever doctor is closest to their homes at the time of visit. Patients can also order a visit in advance and gain the option of selecting a specific doctor.
Desai spoke further about the types of orders he has seen in Heal’s first year. He said many patients use Heal doctors as their primary care physicians. With that, about 75 percent of patients schedule visits ahead of time so they can see the same doctor more than once. Heal’s acceptance of Blue Shield and Anthem Blue Cross of California, Cigna Healthcare, Aetna, and United Healthcare allows its patients to use their primary insurance companies to aid in the payment of these visits.
Patients can expect to pay their co-pay if they have those insurance plans. Those patients without such plans will see a flat fee of $99. Either way, doctors arrive with an “extensive kit” of medical equipment, Desai said.
Heal is now looking to expand to other states and regions where there is a lack of primary care. Many regions of rural California fit this bill; so do many areas of Texas, a state where, TechCrunch commented, telemedicine is not legally allowed as a form of primary care. Cities such as Chicago, Detroit, and Pittsburgh are also future options for Heal. The competition will be fierce against other startups and medical facilities that offer telemedicine where appropriate.
Edited by Alicia Young