MedArrive taps Heartbeat Health to connect Medicaid members with virtual cardiology care

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. One person dies every 33 seconds in the U.S. from cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For underserved populations, accessing a cardiologist can be a significant challenge as the country faces a looming shortage of these specialists. Residents living in cardiology desert counties may have to commute well over 80 miles to reach the nearest cardiology clinic, according to data from GoodRx.

Collectively, the U.S. spends more than $320 billion—or 15% of the total health expenditure—treating or managing CVD. More than 1 in 4 Medicaid beneficiaries have some form of CVD, rates that are often much higher than in other populations, according to KFF data. People on Medicaid also have high rates of the common risk factors that contribute to CVD, including hypertension and high cholesterol. 

MedArrive, a care management platform offering in-home care, is collaborating with virtual cardiology player Heartbeat Health to close this crucial care gap. The two companies are working together to connect those at risk with a network of high-quality cardiologists.

The partnership brings important care services into the home for health plans using MedArrive, especially those that serve Medicaid beneficiaries, executives said.

Former Lyft and Uber executive Dan Trigub launched MedArrive in 2020 with a unique approach to home health. The company provides a variety of longitudinal care management programs that are white-labeled on behalf of health plans and can extend care services into the home.

MedArrive works with payers and providers, leveraging its platform and connecting patients with its field-provider network of highly trained and skilled paramedics, EMTs and other healthcare professionals. The startup has more than 50,000 highly-skilled EMS providers in its national network.

Providers visit the homes of enrolled members on behalf of their plan, offering healthcare services and diagnostics while addressing social care needs. For higher acuity care, members can be referred to physician-led telehealth support through MedArrive’s partner ecosystem.

These field providers also address social care needs like transportation, mobility or nutrition assistance.

By adding Heartbeat Health, MedArrive field providers can connect people with cardiologists virtually to address a variety of use cases.

Founded by cardiologist-entrepreneur Jeff Wessler and launched in 2017, New York City-based Heartbeat Health developed a virtual-first model that uses real-time clinical data and device connectivity, such as through an ECG monitor send to patients' homes, to deliver a range of clinical services, including same-day diagnostic reads, televisits and virtual care programs. 

“With our virtual-first model, Heartbeat Health and MedArrive can together focus on critical underserved populations in rural and urban areas where access and social determinants of health (SDOH) make cardiology care an obstacle for Medicaid patients," Wessler, M.D., told Fierce Healthcare. "These types of partnerships with specialty groups like Heartbeat Health help at-risk patients with lack of access to cardiac care, and also help contribute to cost savings which can be critical for Medicaid beneficiaries."

By partnering with Heartbeat Health, MedArrive can support health plans members with existing CVD or connect those at-risk with a cardiologist from the comfort of their home. For members with chronic heart failure or who are enrolled in a case management program, MedArrive field providers can coordinate care with Heartbeat Health cardiologists and the health plan case management teams to assist with medication titration or to assess potential new symptoms.

The integrated approach holds significant importance for engaging underserved populations, including people in rural regions or economically disadvantaged urban areas where accessing cardiology care presents greater challenges, according to Trigub.

"Heart disease may be the No. 1 killer of all people in our country, but in the intricate web of health disparities, the vulnerability of individuals on Medicaid to heart disease is an undeniable fact. They face a perfect storm of limited access to quality healthcare, socioeconomic challenges and systemic inequalities that amplifies their risk,” Trigub said. "Collaborations like ours with Heartbeat Health weave together compassion with more comprehensive and accessible care to ensure that no heart is left behind.”

MedArrive has served patients and run programs in nine states including Texas, Florida, California, Georgia, Arizona and New Jersey. The company says it has served thousands of patients across its programs, many of which they see multiple times across their longitudinal programs.

MedArrive has built out partnerships with other digital health and virtual care companies to offer specialty services, including for behavioral health in partnership with Brave Health. The company also collaborates with Ouma Health to offer maternal health and teamed up with tele-ophthalmology startup Spect to perform critical eye screenings.

The company secured $8 million in fresh funding last April, led by Cobalt Ventures, a subsidiary of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City. MedArrive has raised more than $40 million to date, including a $25 million series A round in November 2021.

Heartbeat Health has raised $28 million, according to Crunchbase, including a $20 million series B funding, round in 2021 led by Echo Health Ventures with participation from DaVita Venture Group, .406 Ventures, Optum Ventures, Kindred Ventures, Lerer Hippeau, Designer Fund and Max Ventures.