With all the attention on technology’s potential to improve healthcare, there’s a growing concern that those already undeserved by the existing healthcare system will be left further behind.
One company tackling this gap is New York-based startup Cityblock Health, which announced a $65 million Series B Thursday to expand its efforts to bring its innovative care delivery model to low-income neighborhoods and communities.
The funding round was led by Redpoint Ventures, alongside 8VC, Echo Health Ventures and StartUp Health. Redpoint’s Elliot Geidt will be joining the company’s board of directors as part of financing round.
In 2017, Cityblock was spun out Sidewalk Labs, an Alphabet subsidiary that incubates and invests in tech companies and products to improve urban infrastructure. All told, it has raised more that $85 million from investors including Thrive Capital, EmblemHealth and Town Hall Ventures.
The 180-person company is focused on expanding access to care for Medicaid and low-income or dual-eligible Medicare beneficiaries.
Cityblock combines primary care services, behavioral care, chronic disease management, substance abuse treatment and services that address social determinants like transportation, housing and access to healthy food.
It’s well known that a small portion of high risk beneficiaries drive the majority of the healthcare costs for Medicare and Medicaid. Cityblock is looking to provide more holistic, preventive care to better address this patient population before they have an acute medical need.
Through partnerships with insurer EmblemHealth (and its ConnectiCare subsidiary), Cityblock has opened clinics it calls Neighborhood Hubs in Brooklyn, New York and Watertown, Connecticut. These Neighborhood Hubs provide clinical care, as well as services like job counseling, nutrition advice and financial planning assistance.
Later this year, the company is looking to expand into North Carolina with the help of Blue Cross North Carolina.
Outside of these clinics, the company also provides care through telemedicine services, house calls and in other non-traditional healthcare settings like community centers or churches.
Cityblock patients are connected to Community Health Partners, local health services workers that acts a point person for a care team that can include a PCP, a nurse, a social worker and specialists.
Care coordination is enabled by the company’s tech platform called Commons, which allows for all members of a patient’s care team to be aware of the person’s health status and health events.
“Today we bring radically better care to neighborhoods where the healthcare system has let people down—delivering care for medical and behavioral health needs, and the social challenges people face day-to-day,” Cityblock CEO Iyah Romm wrote in a blog post.
“We believed we could achieve this by bridging technology with trusting, person-to-person relationships, in a manner designed to support providers and empower people to have a role in their own care.”
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