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The company provides low-income and underserved pregnant women with a full care team
The United States is the richest country on the planet, which makes the fact that our infant mortality rate is worse than so many other countries incredibly shocking and disappointing. Not only that, but it disproportionately affects black and brown families, with non-Hispanic African Americans having 2.3 times the infant mortality rate as non-Hispanic whites.
Those statistics are what led Olan Soremekun to co-found Cayaba Care, a maternal health company that officially launched on Tuesday, combining technology and community-based clinical services to fixes these inequalities.
Cayaba also revealed it raised a $3.2 million in seed funding round led by Flare Capital, with participation from Digitalis Ventures, Kapor Capital, and SteelSky Ventures, along with angel investors.
Targeting women who are often low-income, and who have been traditionally underserved, the company offers telemedicine and remote patient monitoring, meaning it brings technology to communities with broadband access inequities. It also provides a care management platform to personalize care plans, as well as data integration of clinical and non-clinical sources "to understand the patients needs and clinically integrate with their health system."
To use the services, all the patient has to do is go online to book an appointment, and enroll in the Cayaba care program; the initial visit will take place in the home. After that, they will receive a personalized care plan, through which they will have access to a care team made up of clinicians, counselors, social workers, and care coordinators.
Women are also partnered with a Maternity Navigator who will help guide them through various stages of maternity and birth; that includes pregnancy testing, breastfeeding, postpartum follow-up appointments, mental health needs, general pregnancy concerns, contraception, and personalized educational courses.
"The Navigator does not replace women’s OBGYNs or midwives but is a supplement to the care they may already be receiving," Soremekun explained.
Patients using Cayaba are either commercially insured or are on Medicaid; while patients can pay out of pocket for Cayaba Care, its services are covered by many insurance plans, and most interactions are covered at a very low cost or no co-pay.
"To get to these women, we build partnerships with obstetric practices that focus on extending care beyond the practice walls, providing home and near-home clinical and behavioral health services, coordinating care, and addressing social determinants of health."
The company is currently working with a major health system and several obstetrics practices, and is currently engaging with over 300 patients monthly. Now that it has this funding, it plans to further invest in data and technology focused on integration with health system partners to further drive patient engagement. Cabaya will also be using the new money to expand its care team.
The company is launching at a potentially precarious time for women who are pregnant, or who just had a baby, as they are at high risk of developing a serious illness if they catch COVID. In addition, while the pandemic proved the value of telemedicine in prenatal care, it also highlighted the inequities that already existed in the healthcare system.
Cayaba's goal is to fill those gaps, and offer all patients the same access to care and benefits, no matter their income or socioeconomic status.
"Unfortunately, many underserved patient populations who could most benefit from the convenience of telemedicine or home visits lack broadband access or a provider who can easily provide those services. We need solutions to improve outcomes by bringing technology to these communities and meeting people where they are," said Soremekun.
(Image source: cayabacare.com)
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