Providing health systems with virtual care services, KeyCare raises $24 million

Steven Loeb · August 17, 2022 · Short URL:

The company, which launched in July, built its virtual-first care platform with Epic

Health systems want and need to offer more virtual care services, but there are a few problems, mainly that their internal providers are overwhelmed, and their options for partners are limited to third parties who use poorly integrated technologies. This results in them not being able to meet the patient demand for care, or having to send patients to a discontinuous experience where data isn't shared.

KeyCare's goal is to ensure that health systems can provide patients with a more consistent experience that is higher quality by providing them with those virtual care services. The company, which built its platform with Epic, announced on Wednesday that it raised a $24 million Series A round from 8VC, LRV Health, Bold Capital, and Spectrum Health Ventures.

"We believe health systems do amazing work taking care of cancer, heart disease, broken bones, and very complicated patients. But their patients also need help with routine care as well – from minor urgent care issues to closing care gaps to long-term chronic monitoring of various issues," said Lyle Berkowitz, MD, founder and CEO of KeyCare, to VatorNews.  

"We want to empower health systems with Virtualist partners who can help manage those issues in a highly efficient manner while keeping patients on EHR systems that are interoperable with each other. The result is that patients win on both ends: they get their routine care done hyper-efficiently online, while ensuring there is more office-based access for their more complex issues as well."

Launched in July of this year, KeyCare allow health systems to augment their care teams and optimize capacity by partnering with a nationwide network of virtual care groups who provide urgent care and behavioral health specialists, though the company is planning to expand to other areas soon.  

On the patient side, they can schedule appointments with a variety of Virtualists via their own health system's MyChart portal or call center. The Virtualists then complete the encounter on KeyCare’s Epic platform; the patient's data is made available to the Virtualists, and their virtual care notes are sent back into the health system’s EHR.

"Many health systems are asking us to immediately provide the national service that they cannot do themselves due to licensure issue, and then to also cover the evening shifts as it is prohibitively difficult or expensive for them to do it themselves," Berkowitz said. 

"They are also recognizing that it often makes sense to focus their doctors, staff and executive teams on the complex and high-value care that gets done in the office, and to start partnering with others for the more routine care than can be virtualized." 

KeyCare is currently providing services to BHSH System’s Spectrum Health West Michigan Division. As such, its too early to start recognizing ROI, but Berkowitz did say that the company has been immediately helping its health system partners ensure that patients outside their states are getting virtual care that is integrated with their system.

"This provides a variety of quality benefits while minimizing leakage," he explained. 

As for the patient, the company believes that the ability for the Virtualists to have access to the patient’s health system record helps improve the quality of care, and vice-versa, as the health system is notified their patients was seen and gets a structured note and any medication changes sent into their system as well.  

KeyCare's new funding will be used to grow the Keycare team, and its staff and to prepare the company for rapid growth.

"We have created a robust platform built on the most successful EHR system in the nation, and plan to partner with a variety of Virtualists groups," said Berkowitz.

"Additionally, we have put together an executive team highly experienced in working with Epic, health systems, telehealth and startups, and have raised a significant amount of money to execute on our vision. Bringing all these together enables us to grow quickly and scale to become the largest enabler of virtual care in the nation."

Ultimatley, what Berkowitz wants to with KeyCare is solve the access problem in healthcare.

"I firmly believe we don’t have a shortage of physicians in this country - we have a shortage of using them efficiently. We thus want to focus on using automation, delegation and virtualization to manage as much routine care as possible, and thus free up the time for health system physicians to work to the top of their license in taking care of the more complex patients that need their time and attention," he said.

"In other words, we want to help health systems take care of more patients overall, but in part by allowing them to see less in the office."

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