Springtide, an autism treatment center network, raises $15.6 million

With one in 54 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in the US, the issue of how to treat patients diagnosed with the condition has become almost as acute as the prevalence of the condition itself.

That’s one reason why Jia Jia Ye and the team at the healthcare startup studio Redesign Health, were able to raise $15.6 million in a recent round of funding for the new startup, Springtide Child Development.

A longtime executive in the healthcare industry with previous stints at OneMedical and Oscar, Ye and Redesign Health’s team began talking two years ago about potential business ideas. The group settled on autism care because of what they saw as the clear need in the market, Ye said.

“Why this immediately clicked is that the supply and demand imbalance was super clear,” Ye said. 

Simply put, Springtide combines the concierge medical business model with early childcare and education businesses like Sylvan Learning to offer autism care through specialists and a team of registered behavioral technicians.

To ensure that as many people as possible can use Springtide’s services the company takes both private insurance and Medicaid.

So far, the company has one clinic set up in Connecticut providing both remote and in-person services, and it plans to launch several sites throughout the Northeast on the back of its $15.6 million in financing.

Joining Ye in designing the company’s facilities and treatment services is Dr. Tiva Pierce, who previously worked at Constellation Health Services, which provides behavioral and physical healthcare through schools.

Like many companies which had an in-person services model, Springtide had to pivot to delivering remote care as soon as the pandemic lockdowns hit the Northeast.

Image Credit: Thetaree Sarmkasat iStock / Getty Images Plus

The company charges Medicad $46 per hour and commercial payers will be charged between $50 and $60 per hour, but the company’s services will only cost families their typical co-pay and deductible.

Taking Medicaid was a priority, Ye said, to increase access for more people who need it.

Already, the families in the US spend about $17 billion on ABA therapy, according to Ye. And the overall spending on autism related issues is $68 billion, she said.

The financing, which came from Deerfield Management and Optum Ventures, will be used to expand the company’s footprint and staff, which currently numbers roughly 30 employees.

“The rapidly growing autism care market is highly fragmented and uncoordinated, which creates significant challenges for children and their families who deserve to have access to care that is consistently of exceptional quality,” said Julian Harris, M.D., Partner at Deerfield. “Springtide offers an interdisciplinary, in-center care experience with a tech-enabled wrap-around for families who want their children to get all of their care in one setting.  With an emphasis on outcomes measurement, we hope that Springtide can serve as a platform for care and research, ultimately establishing the gold standard in this field.

#autism, #connecticut, #executive, #getty-images, #healthcare, #healthcare-industry, #medicaid, #optum, #optum-ventures, #oscar, #tc, #united-states


Obamacare Enrollment Opens, With Costs Generally Lower

Millions lost their insurance, along with their jobs, during the pandemic. But many people are eligible for financial help.

#content-type-service, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #health-insurance-and-managed-care, #healthcare-gov, #medicaid, #patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act-2010, #personal-finances, #unemployment


Obamacare Is Back in Court. The Stakes Couldn’t Be Higher.

This time, the issue is democracy, and the Supreme Court’s duty to leave political decisions to the elected branches of government.

#health-insurance-and-managed-care, #law-and-legislation, #medicaid, #medicare, #patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act-2010, #republican-party, #supreme-court-us, #trump-donald-j, #united-states


A Chance to Expand Medicaid Rallies Democrats in North Carolina

The legislature in this battleground state could flip to Democratic control, a prospect that is bringing out lower-income voters who stayed home in 2016.

#elections-state-legislature, #health-insurance-and-managed-care, #medicaid, #north-carolina, #politics-and-government, #presidential-election-of-2020, #states-us, #voting-and-voters


Twentyeight Health is a telemedicine company expanding access to women’s health and reproductive care

New York’s Twentyeight Health is taking the wildly telemedicine services for women’s health popularized by companies like Nurx and bringing them to a patient population that previously hadn’t had access. 

The mission to provide women who are Medicaid or underinsured should not be deprived of the same kinds of care that patients who have more income security or better healthcare coverage enjoy, according to the company’s founder, Amy Fan.

The mission, and the company’s technology, have managed to convince a slew of investors who have poured $5.1 million in seed funding into the new startup. Third Prime led the round, which included investments from Town Hall Ventures, SteelSky Ventures, Aglaé Ventures, GingerBread Capital, Rucker Park Capital, Predictive VC, and angel investors like Stu Libby, Zoe Barry, and Wan Li Zhu.

“Women who are on Medicaid, who are underinsured or without health insurance often struggle to find access to reproductive health services, and these struggles have only increased with COVID-19 pandemic limiting access to in-person appointments,” said Amy Fan, co-founder of Twentyeight Health, in a statement. “We are fighting for healthcare equity, ensuring that all women, particularly BIPOC women and women from low-income backgrounds, can access high quality, dignified and convenient care.”

To ensure that its catering to underserved communities, the company works with Bottomless Closet, a workforce entry program for women, and the 8 colleges in the City University of New York ecosystem including LaGuardia College, which has 45,000 students with 70% coming from families making less than $30,000 in annual income.

The company’s services are currently available across Florida, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania and it’s the only telemedicine company focused on contraception services to accept Medicaid.

In another example of how awesome this company is, it’s also working to provide free birth control for women who aren’t able to pay out of pocket and are uninsured through a partnership with Bedsider’s Contraceptive Access Fund. The company also donates 2% of its revenue to Bedsider and the National Institute for Reproductive Health. (Y’all, this company is amaze.)

To sign up for the service, new customers fill out a medical questionnaire online. Once the questionnaire is reviewed by a US board-certified doctor within 24 hours customers can access over 100 FDA-approved brands of birth control pills, patches, rings, shots, and emergency contraception and receive a shipment within three days.

Twentyeight Health provides ongoing care through online audio consultations and doctor follow up messages to discuss issues around updating prescriptions or addressing side effects, the company said.

“Today, low-income women are three times more likely to have an unintended pregnancy than the average woman in the U.S., and nearly one-third of physicians nationwide aren’t accepting new Medicaid patients,” said Bruno Van Tuykom, co-founder of Twentyeight Health, in a statement. “This underscores why offering high-quality reproductive care that is inclusive of people across race, income bracket, or health insurance status is more important than ever.”

Launched in 2018, Twentyeight Health said it would use the new cash to continue to expand its services across the U.S.


#articles, #birth-control, #co-founder, #contraception, #fda, #florida, #health, #health-insurance, #health-services, #maryland, #medicaid, #new-jersey, #new-york, #north-carolina, #pennsylvania, #tc, #telehealth, #telemedicine, #town-hall-ventures, #united-states


Even as the Economy Grew, More Children Lost Health Insurance

A new analysis shows that coverage levels fell for a third straight year. And that was before the pandemic struck.

#children-and-childhood, #health-insurance-and-managed-care, #hispanic-americans, #immigration-and-emigration, #medicaid, #state-childrens-health-insurance-program-s-chip


If the Supreme Court Ends Obamacare, Here’s What It Would Mean

The Affordable Care Act touches the lives of most Americans, and its abolition could have a significant effect on many millions more people than those who get their health coverage through it.

#content-type-service, #health-insurance-and-managed-care, #medicaid, #medicare, #medicine-and-health, #opioids-and-opiates, #patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act-2010, #states-us, #supreme-court-us, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government, #your-feed-healthcare


Nursing Homes Oust Unwanted Patients With Claims of Psychosis

They are finding what families say are pretexts to send patients to hospitals for psychiatric care — and then refusing to let them return.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #elder-care, #elderly, #life-care-centers-of-america, #medicaid, #nursing-homes


Hoverboarding dentist gets 12 years in prison for fraud, unlawful dental acts

Close-up photograph of feet on hoverboard on institutional floor.

Enlarge / A man tests out a Hovertrax hoverboard produced by Razor at the International Toy Fair 2017 in Nuremberg, Germany, on January 1, 2017. (credit: Getty | picture alliance)

The infamous hoverboarding dentist of Alaska has been found guilty of fraud and unlawful dental acts and was sentenced to 12 years in prison this week, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

Dentist Seth Lookhart was charged with 42 counts in 2017. Most of the charges related to a scheme to unnecessarily sedate patients or keep them sedated for extended periods of time so that Lookhart could inflate Medicaid billing. Prosecutors found that Lookhart extensively detailed the scheme himself in text messages and raked in nearly $2 million from the unjustified sedation.

But, despite his lucrative sedations, Lookhart is likely best known for being the dentist who, in 2016, pulled a tooth from a sedated patient while wobbling on a wheeled “hoverboard” scooter. The evidence for this transgression again came from Lookhart himself, who had the hoverboard procedure captured on video. Lookhart then shared the video with several people.

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#dentist, #fraud, #guilty, #hoverboard, #lookhart, #malpractice, #medicaid, #science


Dermatology Has a Problem With Skin Color

Common conditions often manifest differently on dark skin. Yet physicians are trained mostly to diagnose them on white skin.

#black-people, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #doctors, #eczema, #health-insurance-and-managed-care, #hispanic-americans, #medicaid, #medical-schools, #minorities, #pediatric-inflammatory-multisystem-syndrome-pims, #psoriasis, #race-and-ethnicity, #skin, #skin-cancer, #textbooks, #united-states, #your-feed-science


Trump Program to Cover Uninsured Covid-19 Patients Falls Short of Promise

Some patients are still receiving staggering bills. Others don’t qualify because conditions other than Covid-19 were their primary diagnosis.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-aid-relief-and-economic-security-act-2020, #federal-aid-us, #health-insurance-and-managed-care, #hospitals, #medicaid, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government, #your-feed-healthcare


How Progressives Flipped the Script on Medicaid Expansion

Missouri is the latest state where ballot initiatives took the issue directly to voters, bypassing Republican leaders.

#health-insurance-and-managed-care, #medicaid, #missouri, #patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act-2010, #referendums, #states-us


Using Telemedicine to Treat Opioid Addiction

Getting medication long meant seeing a licensed provider. Now a strategy for evading Covid-19 makes treatment available via the web.

#appalachian-region, #buprenorphine-drug, #columbia-university, #computers-and-the-internet, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #doctors, #drug-abuse-and-traffic, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #health-insurance-and-managed-care, #manhattan-nyc, #medicaid, #mental-health-and-disorders, #naloxone-drug, #new-york-state, #obama-barack, #pennsylvania, #philadelphia-pa, #preventive-medicine, #quarantines, #scranton-pa, #telemedicine, #therapy-and-rehabilitation, #williams-zachary-1983


Y Combinator’s Vitable Health is bringing basic healthcare to underserved populations

Joseph Kitonga, the 23-year-old entrepreneur behind Vitable Health, first saw the need for a new kind of healthcare service growing up in Philadelphia and seeing the experience of the home healthcare workers who worked at his parents’ business.

The Kitongas immigrated to the United States a decade ago and settled down in Philadelphia, where they started a home-care business matching workers with patients in need. What was surprising to the younger Kitonga was that the people who worked for his parents taking care of others couldn’t afford basic healthcare coverage themselves.

It was that observation that provided the seed for the business idea that would become Vitable Health, Kitonga’s first business and a recent member of Y Combinator’s latest summer cohort.

The company provides affordable acute healthcare coverage to underinsured or un-insured populations and was born out of his experience watching employees of his parents’ home healthcare agency struggle to receive basic healthcare coverage.

A lot of caregivers make $10 per hour, which is too much to qualify for Medicaid and too little to afford health insurance, Kitonga says.

Even with the Affordable Care Act, many workers in the home-care business that Kitonga’s parents ran in Philadelphia were unable to receive care.

So Kitonga built a service that could cover everything but catastrophic coverage for lower costs than the company’s customers would have to pay if they went to an urgent care facility.

Vitable is able to lower the cost of care through its use of nurse practitioners instead of doctors to provide the care. For a small monthly fee, the company will send providers to make house calls or customers can receive a consultation over the phone.

“We focus on acute and preventive coverage,” says Kitonga. “Most high deductible plans are geared toward providing catastrophic coverage.”

What Kitonga saw with his parents’ employees was that they would wind up going to the emergency room and put $1,300 in charges on their credit cards rather than pay for insurance per month.

Vitable’s lowest plan levels start at $15 per month and the co-payment is $30, according to Kitonga. Vitable’s technicians will do in-home lab tests.

There’s just no low-cost care option available for the population that Kitonga wants to serve, he said. These are people who will be referred to emergency rooms by nearby care providers because they lack the necessary insurance. “The population that we service has been ignored by healthcare providers,” said Kitonga.

For now, the service is only available in Philadelphia, but Kitonga says there are already 1,000 people who receive care through Vitable. “We work with a lot of small businesses that might have 10 or 20 employees,” Kitonga said.


#entrepreneur, #health, #health-insurance, #medicaid, #philadelphia, #recent-funding, #startups, #tc, #united-states, #vitable-health, #y-combinator


Millions Have Lost Health Insurance in Pandemic-Driven Recession

A new study estimates that more than five million American workers lost their insurance this spring, a number higher than those in any full year of insurance losses.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #health-insurance-and-managed-care, #labor-and-jobs, #medicaid, #patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act-2010, #presidential-election-of-2020, #recession-and-depression, #states-us, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government


What’s Missing in the Effort to Stop Maternal Deaths

The U.S. could prevent two-thirds of deaths during or within a year of pregnancy, research suggests.

#black-people, #health-insurance-and-managed-care, #maternal-mortality, #medicaid, #pregnancy-and-childbirth, #race-and-ethnicity, #women-and-girls


Social Programs Can Sometimes Turn a Profit for Taxpayers

Government assistance can be expensive, but a new study shows that some programs more than pay for themselves.

#disability-insurance, #head-start, #health-insurance-and-managed-care, #medicaid, #taxation


Republican Leaders Want to End Obamacare. Their Voters Are Expanding It.

Oklahoma is the latest state where voters, in choosing to expand Medicaid, have delivered a rebuke to their elected officials.

#health-insurance-and-managed-care, #medicaid, #oklahoma, #patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act-2010, #referendums, #states-us, #united-states-politics-and-government


Obamacare Faces Unprecedented Test as Economy Sinks

The battles over the health law have played out during a decade of continuous economic growth. How it performs as a safety net now may help determine its future.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #health-insurance-and-managed-care, #law-and-legislation, #layoffs-and-job-reductions, #medicaid, #patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act-2010, #unemployment, #united-states-politics-and-government


A Deal to Save Medicaid, the Unemployed and State Budgets

The tradeoff: full federal funding for expanded Medicaid and unemployment aid, while states fund early childhood programs and infrastructure.

#community-colleges, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-aid-relief-and-economic-security-act-2020, #federal-state-relations-us, #health-insurance-and-managed-care, #infrastructure-public-works, #medicaid, #patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act-2010, #states-us, #unemployment-insurance, #united-states-economy


Hospitals Knew How to Make Money. Then Coronavirus Happened.

Surgeries are canceled. Business models are shifting. Some of the hardest-hit hospitals may close, leaving patients with fewer options for care.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-aid-relief-and-economic-security-act-2020, #hospitals, #layoffs-and-job-reductions, #mayo-clinic, #medicaid, #medicare, #new-york-presbyterian-hospital, #patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act-2010, #rural-areas


Nursing Homes Were a Coronavirus Disaster Waiting to Happen

Long before Covid-19, poor care and lax standards were widespread and well known.

#centers-for-medicare-and-medicaid-services, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #elder-care, #elderly, #epidemics, #lobbying-and-lobbyists, #long-term-care-community-coalition, #medicaid, #medicare, #nursing-homes, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #retirement-communities-and-assisted-living


Bankruptcy Didn’t Help Detroit Fight the Coronavirus

Cities should avoid bankruptcy. It hasn’t helped Detroit.

#bankruptcies, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-aid-relief-and-economic-security-act-2020, #credit-and-debt, #dayton-ohio, #detroit-mich, #federal-taxes-us, #local-government, #mcconnell-mitch, #medicaid, #property-taxes, #san-jose-calif, #stockton-calif, #subprime-mortgage-crisis, #unemployment, #wages-and-salaries, #warren-elizabeth


States Are Being Crushed by the Coronavirus. Only This Can Help.

Congress must step in and offer quick and generous aid to states before they must slash services and drag down the economy.

#budgets-and-budgeting, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #furman-jason, #medicaid, #obama-barack, #states-us, #taxation


With Coronavirus, ‘Health Care for Some’ Is a Recipe for Disaster

The Trump administration’s treatment of immigrants could make the epidemic worse.

#citizenship-and-naturalization, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #epidemics, #immigration-and-emigration, #medicaid, #medicine-and-health