Kidney care startup Monogram Health eyes expansion boosted by $160M investment

Tech-enabled kidney disease management company Monogram Health scored a $160 million series B funding round backed by Humana.

The funding round was led by TPG Capital, the private equity platform of global alternative asset firm TPG, and included participation from existing investors Frist Cressey Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners as well as other notable national and regional strategic investors. 

The Nashville, Tennessee-based company has raised $172 million to date, according to Crunchbase.

Monogram partners with health plans to offer members with chronic kidney and end-stage renal diseases a range of services to manage their conditions at home. Through the use of artificial intelligence, evidence-based criteria and personalized care planning, Monogram Health’s model seeks to delay the progression of disease, promote a seamless transition to dialysis, palliative care and/or preemptive kidney transplant and optimize health outcomes for patients with end-stage renal disease, according to the company.

The startup currently operates across 20 states and has built a national network of caregivers that includes nurses, nephrologists, dieticians, pharmacists and social workers.

The company plans to use the fresh capital to fuel its continued rapid expansion across the country. In April, the company opened an operations center in Arizona to support its growth in Western states.

RELATED: Humana launching new care coordination programs for members with kidney disease 

In conjunction with the investment, Todd Sisitsky, co-managing partner of TPG Capital who co-leads the platform’s healthcare franchise, has joined the Monogram Health board of directors. 

“Welcoming TPG Capital alongside noted national and regional strategic investors further validates our industry-leading kidney model of care,” said former Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist, M.D., Monogram Health’s board chairman. “We look forward to working with the TPG team as Monogram further solidifies its role as the preeminent leader in personalized, compassionate, and evidence-based kidney care for patients.”

One in 7 adults, and a disproportionate share of people of color, suffer from chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease. Treating Medicare beneficiaries with chronic kidney disease costs nearly $82 billion, or $23,700 per person, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Many cases of chronic kidney disease go untreated until the patients' final stages due to the shortcomings of existing care models. Leveraging the company’s technology and managed services platform, Monogram’s clinical team partners closely with a patient’s entire care network to help them understand their condition, slow disease progression and manage their unique care needs, company executives said.

“Monogram is transforming one of the most complex and underserved areas of healthcare,” said Sisitsky. “As someone who has supported a family member through end‐stage renal disease, I witnessed first‐hand the challenges and deficiencies that Monogram is addressing. I couldn’t be more optimistic about the future of the company and the lives it’s changing every day.”

"Monogram’s integrated care model combines data-driven solutions and in-home specialist care to deliver better outcomes for patients at a lower total cost. We’re excited to partner with Senator Frist, Mike, and the rest of Monogram’s industry-leading team to support the company’s next phase of growth," said Kendall Garrison, partner at TPG Capital.

RELATED: Alphabet's CapitalG, Ascension back $140M investment in kidney care startup Strive Health

Monogram Health and Humana have partnered to improve care coordination for Medicare Advantage and commercial members with kidney disease. Through the collaboration, Humana members in Louisiana and Mississippi have access to Monogram Health’s services that provide a coordinated, data-driven approach to better identifying and managing the needs of members with kidney disease.  

The latest funding round comes as the startup attracts big-name healthcare leaders. Seema Verma, former administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) under the Trump administration, recently joined the company's board as an independent director. Under Verma's tenure, CMS launched new programs to increase kidney patients' access to coordinated care.

“Despite more than 20 percent of all Medicare spending going toward Americans with kidney disease, the population continues to grow and experience often dismal health outcomes and quality of life,” said Monogram Health CEO Mike Uchrin. “Our model of care dramatically improves health outcomes and reduces spending by delivering the care and services these individuals truly need and want, right in their own homes. One by one, our patient successes are adding up to significant value for our partners and driving accelerated demand for our services.”

Startups that focus on modernizing chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease management are attracting big investments. Alphabet’s independent growth fund CapitalG backed Strive Health’s $140 million series B funding round. Strive Health aims to slow the progression of kidney disease with an approach that combines advanced technology with high-touch patient care.

Reforming kidney care was a key health priority at the Department of Health and Human Services and CMS under President Donald Trump. The Trump administration issued a new rule boosting end-stage renal disease patients' access to home dialysis by allowing certain new equipment and supplies to qualify for an additional Medicare payment. The administration also launched a set of new payment models aimed at boosting the use of home dialysis and transplantation as alternatives to clinic dialysis, as well as kick-started KidneyX, an accelerator for nephrology innovation.