Allina Health System and a Boston-based venture capital firm are leading a $20 million fundraising effort for a startup company that will develop "hospital-at-home" programs in conjunction with health systems and health plans.
Called Inbound Health, the new business will have its headquarters in Minneapolis. It builds on Allina's continuing push since the COVID-19 pandemic to provide hospital services at home when possible, since inpatient capacity has been limited at times.
Inbound Health will work with clients to create "skilled nursing-at-home" programs as well as hospital-level services, according to an announcement Tuesday from Minneapolis-based Allina and Flare Capital Partners, which is based in Boston.
"The home hospital programs that we've scaled to thousands of patients here in Minnesota are rooted in our population health drivers of delivering safe, high quality, affordable care that's timely and convenient to access," Lisa Shannon, president and chief executive at Allina Health System, said in a news release.
In lieu of new capital, Allina has invested intellectual property as a payment-in-kind to retain ownership in Inbound Health, the health system said in a statement to the Star Tribune.
"This includes care model, the people, the technology and the operating processes that Inbound Health is now leveraging to scale this valuable service nationwide," Allina said.
Hospital-at-home programs allow some patients who otherwise would be admitted to facilities to receive care at home through a combination of telehealth and in-person visits from nurses and other caregivers.
Inbound Health will provide the tools for launching at-home care programs, including technology for remote monitoring and guidance on negotiating payment terms with health insurers, according to the Tuesday announcement.
Allina says it has used the Inbound Health platform since May 2020 to care for more than 4,200 patients across 185 primary diagnoses.
"Home-based acute care models represent a compelling opportunity to lower the cost of care while increasing access and satisfaction for patients," Michael Greeley, co-founder and general partner at Flare Capital Partners, said in a statement.
Dave Kerwar, who previously was the chief product officer at New York-based Mount Sinai Health System, will serve as CEO of the new company.
"Inbound Health will use the new financing to continue to advance its proprietary technology platform that integrates a variety of biometric monitoring devices and brings forward engagement, workflow and AI-powered analytic capabilities," the company's backers said in the news release.
With more than 28,000 employees, Allina Health System is one of Minnesota's largest health care providers. The nonprofit group solely owns nine hospitals including Abbott Northwestern in Minneapolis and co-owns a 10th hospital in Shakopee.