General Catalyst, a16z and Rock Health back Ribbon Health's $43.5M series B to build out health data platform

Ribbon Health is tackling the costly “doctor data” problem that stands in the way of patients having a seamless journey to the right care.

The company's mission is to power all care decisions to make them convenient and cost-effective.

The startup offers a health data API platform that delivers comprehensive data across providers, insurance, conditions and procedures treated as well as cost and quality metrics.

The company, founded in 2016, banked a $43.5 million series B investment led by General Catalyst and with participation from new and current investors including Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), BoxGroup, Rock Health and Sachin Jain. Ribbon has raised $55 million to date.

As part of the round, Holly Maloney, managing director at General Catalyst, who is focused on investing in later-stage healthcare companies, will join Ribbon’s board of directors.

Ribbon plans to use the fresh capital to prioritize team expansion and technology investments to build a best-in-class data platform to simplify healthcare decisions across the industry, the company said in a press release.

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Despite significant investments in digital health and focused innovation specific to patient experience, patients struggle with the seemingly basic task of finding an in-network and conveniently located provider or facility that focuses on appropriate care. This confusion is caused by fundamentally flawed and disparate data that have become particularly burdensome as digital health advances. 

Data on medical providers, including information as basic as address and phone number, have been cited as being only 48% accurate. These provider data flaws directly impact patients’ ability to compare procedure prices before seeing a clinician, according to Ribbon Health. With 1 in 3 patients skipping care due to cost concerns, there is a critical need for accurate data on providers, specialties and insurance that takes price transparency and quality into account. 

“While consumers can easily find the address for a local restaurant, the same can’t be said for patients who are looking for a phone number to make an appointment for a critical MRI or to confirm they are seeing a clinician who is in-network and of high-quality, so there are no unexpected costs associated with their care visit,” said Nate Maslak, CEO and co-founder at Ribbon Health, in a statement.

“This doctor data problem harms patients as it often leads to people delaying care, opting out of treatments, or dealing with unnecessary and burdensome financial impact," he said.

Maslak and Nate Fox co-founded Ribbon Health because of their personal experiences with the healthcare system. Maslak's mother struggled for years to find the right joint pain doctor, and Fox was born with a severe hearing impairment, but his family was lucky enough to find the right specialists early on, the pair told Forbes in an interview.

These shared experiences led them to launch Ribbon to tackle provider data issues that create challenges for patients during their care journeys.

The company helps health plans, provider organizations and digital health companies solve the costly “doctor data” problem and streamline how patients connect with in-network, quality care that is personalized to their unique needs. 

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Customers use Ribbon as the core infrastructure to build healthcare solutions, and Ribbon continues to expand and enhance its data set to support many different use cases across the industry. With Ribbon, companies can seamlessly integrate and quickly update provider data directly into their existing workflows, according to the company.

“Ribbon helps us connect members with high-quality providers and ensure patients are making knowledgeable decisions on their care, leading to improved outcomes, reduced costs and peace of mind,” said Marcia Otto, vice president of product strategy at Health Advocate. 

Notable organizations such as Oak Street Health, Decent, PacificSource and Firefly Health are partnering with Ribbon to streamline healthcare decision-making and improve patient access to care. 

“Ribbon is on a path to power the next generation of care navigation for both patients and referring clinicians," said Maloney. “What Ribbon Health has built is not only a leading healthcare data platform that solves the decades-old issue of not being able to easily find the highest quality and most affordable clinician but a mission-driven culture that has set them up to scale and succeed. General Catalyst is thrilled to be leading Ribbon’s Series B, as they share our vision of healthcare as a powerful, connected ecosystem.”