Durable medical equipment for at-home health is expected to reach $75 billion in the U.S. this year, as 1 in 4 aging people require equipment and 10% of COVID-19 patients experience ongoing symptoms.
Trying to get patients the right equipment and services means navigating a fragmented industry of home-based care resources with little visibility, and it can often take weeks to get medical supplies delivered to patients, according to healthcare executive Vijay Kedar.
Kedar co-founded Tomorrow Health in 2020 to simplify the process of getting home health care supplies, much like an Amazon for home health care equipment. The company provides a platform that procures the equipment and supplies patients' needs at home, such as walkers and oxygen tanks, and coordinates all the logistics between payers, insurance coverage and referring providers.
The startup has scored a $25 million Series A round of funding led by Andreessen Horowitz with participation from Obvious Ventures and BoxGroup.
Individual investors in the company include C-level executives of Tenet Healthcare, Flatiron Health, Quartet and PillPack, Stripe, Massachusetts Medicaid and the World Bank, according to the company.
The company will utilize the new capital to expand its infrastructure technology and grow its teams across technology, operations and business development, Kedar said.
Tomorrow Health aims to provide a holistic home care platform that works as a trusted partner to patients, families, physicians, medical equipment suppliers and insurers to manage home-based care, he said.
Tomorrow Health also announced Paul Mango, former deputy chief of staff for policy at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Roy Beveridge, M.D., former chief medical officer at Humana, have joined its advisory board.
“The home health space is still living in the Dark Ages and desperately needs an upgrade. Tomorrow Health is setting a new, patient-first standard for how we improve the process,” said Julie Yoo, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, in a statement.
"The platform’s critical technology infrastructure offers increased visibility and value to payers, provides tools for operational efficiency for DME suppliers, and saves providers and their staff time spent on coordination so they can focus on patient care," said Yoo, who is joining the company's board.
Partnering with payers, referring providers and DME suppliers, Tomorrow Health provides a data-driven intelligence platform to match patients with high-quality DME suppliers based on insurance coverage, service quality, geography and product specialization.
Patients recovering from surgery or illness at home or managing a chronic condition can use the company's website to find the products they need; the platform navigates prior authorizations and insurance billing and then ships the equipment directly to patients' homes in two business days, according to Kedar.
“We believe the home should be a patient’s primary point of care, and we are focused on providing patients with the right products, guidance and support to make that a reality,” said Kedar, who serves as Tomorrow Health's CEO.
“One size does not fit all in healthcare or medical equipment. From walkers and rollators after a fall, to oxygen concentrators and respiratory supplies for COPD and ongoing recovery from COVID-19, it is essential that patients receive equipment tailored to their conditions with speed and reliability. We are committed to getting each patient’s individual needs fulfilled in partnership with the highest-quality suppliers and to removing the stress and complexity that have become synonymous with navigating at-home care," he said.
The breadth of Tomorrow Health's platform, providing hundreds of thousands of products representing over 3,000 Medicare billing codes in partnership with a range of suppliers, ensures that patients’ DME needs are fulfilled accurately and efficiently, resulting in a 92% patient customer satisfaction score, according to the company.
Since its public launch in April 2020, Tomorrow Health has partnered with more than 125 leading health plans and hospital systems as patient demand for home-based care continues to increase and the COVID-19 pandemic has left more individuals in need of support. The startup's partnership with Geisinger Health Plan went live earlier this year.
There are severe tailwinds propelling the home-based care market. One key trend is that payers are increasingly building strategies around home health care, according to Kedar.
"We see payers making lasting changes to reimbursement, including government payers all the way down to commercial payers. They are re-architecting their care networks toward the home," he said.
He added, "From a regulatory standpoint, HHS has moved swiftly to unlock an unprecedented wave of regulatory changes to support care in the home. I think this will facilitate greater access to and utilization of home-based care."