Startup Cricket Health raised $ 83.5 million in fresh capital to fuel its growth as it sees growing demand for its personalized approach to kidney care.
The Series B funding round was led by Valtruis, which is focused on investing in companies with value-based models and home health. Existing investors Oak HC / FT and Cigna Ventures, as well as K2 HealthVentures, also participated, and the round included a strategic investment from Blue Shield of California.
The company plans to use the financing to drive a rapid expansion of its services, executives said in a press release.
Based in San Francisco Cricket health has raised a total of more than $ 120 million in equity and debt financing to date.
“Kidney disease has been a huge problem for our health care system due to its complexity, high cost of care, and lack of early diagnostic intervention. Cricket Health’s approach to combining cutting-edge testing with teams of care dedicated efforts backed by a digital health platform is achieving outstanding clinical outcomes, “said Tracy Bahl, Managing Partner at Valtruis.
Cricket Health developed a predictive analytics model to stratify patient risk and identify those with chronic kidney disease stage 3b and beyond with 96% accuracy. The identified patients are then assigned a care team that includes a nurse, pharmacist, social worker, dietitian, and a trained patient mentor.
Patients can connect with the care team over the phone or virtually, with the goal of slowing the progression of their disease and helping them access needed services.
If patients progress to end-stage kidney disease, Cricket Health’s evidence-based approach increases transplant referrals, increases home dialysis utilization and reduces unnecessary hospitalizations, company executives said.
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“Changing the way kidney disease is identified and managed is the way we can deliver better clinical outcomes,” said Robert Sepucha, CEO of Cricket Health, in a statement. “By identifying patients earlier and providing the care they need, we are helping more Americans than ever to stay healthy, at home and out of the hospital. With new partners Welsh Carson and Blue Shield of California, and existing partners Oak HC / FT, Cigna and K2 Health Ventures, we will be able to continue expanding our innovative kidney care model across the country. “
The company recently launched a program targeting Medicare Advantage plans to help them manage the care of patients with end-stage renal disease.
Cricket Health has developed a history of improving clinical outcomes for people with kidney disease, which in turn results in lower costs for health plan members. In both Texas and California, through trade associations and Medicare Advantage health plans, Cricket Health has shown remarkable improvements in key clinical measures for its populations living with kidney disease, including more than 50% less hospital admissions than the status quo.
The company also reports that 77% of patients who begin dialysis do so on an outpatient basis, compared to the status quo of 40%, and 45% of patients who need dialysis do so at home, compared to the status quo of 11%.
Cigna reports that since May 2020, the health plan has seen a more than 50% reduction in hospitalizations and an increase in patient autonomy in a client’s transition to dialysis.
“In our partnership with Cricket, we have been able to bring even more affordability, predictability and simplicity to our customers with kidney disease,” said Tom Richards, senior vice president and global leader, strategy and business development, Cigna, in a statement. .
Blue Shield of California partnered with Cricket Health in 2020 to offer coordinated care to members with late-stage and end-stage renal disease.
The long-term collaboration is part of Blue Shield’s Health Reimagined initiative, which includes a series of pilot programs that focus on the unique needs of members in four communities across the state.
“The Cricket Health virtual platform has helped connect patients with clinical and peer support, making them feel more informed about their health and involved in their care plans, allowing them to live their best lives,” said Susan Fleischman , MD, Interim Medical Director for Blue Shield of California, in a statement.
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The company is among several startups, along with industry heavyweights, chasing a lucrative home kidney care market.
Startups that focus on modernizing chronic kidney disease and managing end-stage kidney disease are attracting large investments. Alphabet’s independent growth fund CapitalG supported Strive Health’s $ 140 million Series B funding round. Strive Health aims to slow the progression of kidney disease with an approach that combines advanced technology with high-level patient care.
Technology-enabled kidney disease management company Monogram Health secured a $ 160 million Series B round of funding backed by Humana. The funding round was led by TPG Capital, the private equity platform of global alternative assets firm TPG, and included participation from existing investors Frist Cressey Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners, as well as other notable national and regional strategic investors.
Renal care reform was a key health priority at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Donald Trump. The Trump administration issued a new rule boosting end-stage renal disease patients’ access to home dialysis by allowing certain new equipment and supplies to qualify for an additional Medicare payment. The administration also launched a set of new payment models aimed at boosting the use of home dialysis and transplantation as alternatives to clinical dialysis.