RubiconMD's specialist e-consult platform backed by another $13.8M

By Dave Muoio
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New York City-based digital consult platform RubiconMD has closed a $13.8 million Series B funding round led by HLM Venture Partners and Optum Ventures, representatives from the company told Babyforyou.net.ua. Other participants in the round included Centene Corporation, Blue Ivy Ventures, and other return investors.

“Specialists are oftentimes centralized, overbooked, costly, or out of network,” Carlos Reines, COO and cofounder at RubiconMD, told Babyforyou.net.ua. “We solve that problem by allowing primary care providers to access e-consults with top specialists from over 150 specialties within 24 hours, and based on the guidance or the input they’ve received from the specialists they are able to improve patient care and solve access problems.”

RubiconMD provides asynchronous digital health services that connect primary care doctors to specialists. Via an app, primary care docs can upload images or type in their questions, and the app will route the query to an appropriate specialist. The provider receives an answer within the next day, although Reines said that doctors do not often have to wait more than just a few hours.

The latest funding will primarily be used to improve the company’s capabilities to provide services and rapidly scale its services, Reines said. This will include staffing hires, software integrations, and new data insight features, as well as efforts to sign on new healthcare partners and otherwise expand to new markets.

“We’ve obviously invested a ton in the technology, that’s the key enabler for the services, [and] we’ll be announcing a lot of new features over the rest of the year, but we’re not just a technology platform. We are a e-consult program, and we’ve invested heavily in what we call ‘clinical transformation,’” Reines said. “It’s really the end-to-end program that we’ve built that’s been attractive to the new investors, [and they] see the results that we’ve been able to drive for health organizations for the last few years.”

Reines also cited the previous year’s appointment of Dr. J. Nwando Olayiwola as chief clinical transformation officer and a partnership with Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center as examples of the company’s commitment to achieving stronger clinical results.

In 2016, RubiconMD raised $4 million in a round led by Waterline Ventures, with participation from Dioko Health Ventures, FCA Venture Partners, and Alma Mundi Fund. The company’s seed investors include athenahealth and former Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida CEO Bob Lufrano.

Currently, RubiconMD provides specialty care consultations to providers in 35 states, and to a patient population that is largely comprised of Medicaid recipients. Speaking more broadly, Reines noted that e-consult technologies like those employed by his company have been increasingly well received in the years since RubiconMD’s launch in 2013.

“We started this company with a plan about how we could help providers improve care, and really over the last few years we’ve seen it come to play with different populations — we do a lot of work in the safety net because patients who are uninsured, Medicaid, have a lot of access challenges,” Reines said. “Now we’re seeing health policy is starting to include e-consults, health plans are talking about reimbursements, providers are starting to reach out. This is no longer an unknown concept. I think that’s great for primary care. … If you allow primary care providers to do more for their patients, then the health system is going to function better and everyone is going to benefit.”