A new hybrid provider focused on low-income patients with complex needs has launched in Detroit.
Accompany Health, a primary, behavioral and social care provider, launches with $56 million in series A funding from investors including Venrock, Arch Venture Partners, IVP, Granite Capital Management and Evidenced. The company is currently serving 8,000 patients in Detroit in partnership with a major national payer. The partner was not disclosed.
The startup is built to provide care to traditionally underserved populations on a large scale. It offers at-home visits, virtual care and 24/7 support with a team of community health workers, advanced practitioners, physicians, psychiatrists, social workers and pharmacists. Accompany can serve as a patient’s primary care provider or collaborate with their existing doctor.
The company plans to use the funding to staff up and strengthen its technology, according to Accompany founder and CEO Rahul Rajkumar, M.D. “To me, the most important thing is it enables us to prove that this model of care can actually make healthcare better for this community,” Rajkumar told Fierce Healthcare.
Though primary care has seen a lot of innovation in the last decade, vulnerable patients still see barriers to care, Rajkumar said. Their health is best addressed in an integrated, holistic way, including social needs. To that end, Accompany is prioritizing innovative, value-based payer partners. It is currently working with managed care plans.
“We believe that this works best when we take full risk,” Rajkumar told Fierce Healthcare. “That creates the right incentive structure … and ensures the full model of care is adequately resourced.”
In Detroit specifically, Accompany sees people with multiple complex medical conditions, including serious mental illness as a comorbidity. It also treats substance use disorder, Rajkumar said. The startup hopes to expand in the coming year, he added, but “what matters most is we provide exceptional care to these patients in Detroit.”
When it comes to working with a patient’s existing provider, Accompany’s team tries to meet their primary care physician in person whenever possible and build a collaborative relationship. “We think that those alliances with community providers really have to be built in person,” Rajkumar said.
True to its name, the startup’s care team can also go with its patients in person to a specialist visit. “Healthcare is really scary, and we don’t want our patients to feel like they’re in it alone,” Rajkumar said. “The name Accompany comes from the idea of accompaniment.”
Accompany Health’s board members include: Bob Kocher, M.D., partner at Venrock; Stephanie Lovell, formerly of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts; Vivian Riefberg of the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia; and Bryan Roberts of Venrock.
“We know that low-income patients with complex needs have the most serious gaps in care and drive a huge percentage of healthcare costs, but innovators haven’t focused enough on them,” Kocher said in a press release. “Accompany Health has assembled a world-class team with a deep dedication to serving those most in need—and with the experience with technology and care delivery to get it done.”