Nashville, Tennessee-based CareBridge on Wednesday announced a $140 million funding round led by Oak HC/FT, with participation from “four of the nation’s five largest” Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs).
The home- and community-based services (HCBS) provider noted in a press release that it will use the funding to spread its value-based care model for Medicaid and dual-eligible patients with physical or intellectual disability nationwide. The $140 million financing round values the business at over $1 billion, according to the release.
CareBridge exclusively serves full-risk Medicaid and dual eligible patients needing long-term support services (LTSS).
The company, according to the release, grew from serving approximately 1,100 full-risk patients in June 2021 to serving approximately 19,000 full-risk patients today. By next year, CareBridge plans to operate in 16 states and the District of Columbia.
On top of funding geographic expansion, the investment will also back CareBridge’s ongoing build of the nation’s largest database for HCBS and the expansion of services to patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), the release states.
CareBridge uses a suite of tech-based services that include 24/7 clinical support, decision support, data aggregation and electronic visit verification to ensure that patients get the “right level of services” to avoid hospitalizations and ER visits.
The 24/7 access to clinical support comes from a tablet in the home of high-risk residents that can contact a CareBridge clinician at any time. CareBridge’s clinical team includes physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers, behavioral health specialists and pharmacists, the release states.
“CareBridge is revolutionizing care for individuals on Medicaid receiving home and community-based services,” Brad Smith, executive chairman of CareBridge, said in the release. “By helping coordinate care and provide 24/7 access to a clinician, CareBridge is helping individuals live healthier, more independent lives while remaining at home.”
Smith is also a former Director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). He additionally serves as the founder and CEO of Nashville-based Russell Street Ventures, which lists CareBridge as one of its portfolio companies. He joined the company as executive chairman in October 2021.
“When I first met Brad Smith seven years ago, I immediately knew he was the kind of entrepreneur we wanted to invest in,” Annie Lamont, co-founder and managing partner at Oak HC/FT, said on LinkedIn. “We invested in his first two companies (Aspire Health, Inc. and Main Street Health) and today, we couldn’t be more thrilled to announce that CareBridge secured $140M in funding.
“We’re honored to be a part of your journey and look forward to seeing what’s next.”
The release did not name which MCOs participated in the funding round, only saying that they were four of the nation’s five largest MCO that, collectively, serve nearly 60% of all Americans receiving HCBS.
Behavioral Health Business has since learned that the other investors were Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM); Optum Ventures, a part of UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH); CVS Ventures, part of CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS); and HLM Venture Partners investing on behalf of Centene Corp. (NYSE: CNC).
Oak HC/FT is a Stamford, Connecticut-based venture and growth equity firm that specializes in health care and fintech.
Optum Ventures first invested in 2020, according to its website.
CareBridge was formed in 2020 through the merger of two long-term support services tech companies: Knoxville-based HealthStar and Chicago-based Sinq Technologies.
Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist led the formation of CareBridge, according to BHB sister publication Home Health Care News.
At that time, Oak HC/FT and GV (formerly Google Ventures) led a $40 million funding round to back CareBridge. Frist’s investment firm Frist Cressey Ventures holds a stake in the company. As of a year ago, behavioral health opportunities made up about 40% of the First Cressy Ventures investment pipeline.
Oak HC/FT also participated in the $105 million Series C funding round for virtual pediatric behavioral health provider Brightline that was announced in March.
The company also announced then that David Baiada — CEO of Bayada Home Health Care, one of the largest home health providers in the U.S. — would serve on the company’s board.
“Their investment speaks to the uniqueness and importance of CareBridge’s solution,” Mike Tudeen, CEO of CareBridge, said in the release. “Our strong growth allows us to impact the lives of more individuals and to influence our nation’s system of care around this deserving population.”
CareBridge has not responded to a request for comment from BHB at the time of publication. Oak HC/FT declined to provide additional information.
Editor’s note — June 9, 2022: This story was updated to clarify who the other investors were based on new information received by BHB.