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AmplifyMD snags $23m in F-Prime-led Series A

Mar 28, 2022
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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

AmplifyMD, a telehealth startup, has raked in a $23 million F-Prime Capital-led Series A, the company tells Sarah.

Why it matters: The company's technology addresses the scarcity of specialists in most American hospitals that directly affects patients. Go deeper (2 min. read)

  • Seed round co-leaders Forerunner Ventures and Greylock also participated in the round.

State of play: Over 3,300 of the country's 6,000 hospitals have a shortage of specialists across at least three areas, and most of the rest are missing at least one critical specialist.

  • Thus, patients are typically transferred to a tertiary medical facility to address gaps in care, a costly reality that patients dislike.
  • For hospitals, “a few [patient] transfers a month can be the difference between being positive and negative in terms of profitably,” says CEO Meena Mallipeddi, who co-founded AmplifyMD with her husband, Anand Nathan, less than three years ago.
  • Hospitals lose $17 billion-plus annually from preventable patient transfers, the company says, and a single patient transfer can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000, Mallipeddi adds.

How it works: Patients access specialty telehealth directly through hospitals that are connected to its network of specialists that physically work out of other facilities.

  • This stands in contrast to the direct-to-consumer model many virtual care providers like Teladoc have focused on.
  • AmplifyMD's software streamlines and automates virtual care delivery and billing, and can be integrated with existing EHRs and workflows in hospitals. Easing documentation drives engagement by removing “a lot of the key barriers for [hospitals] in terms of not wanting to do telehealth,” Nathan says.
  • "For a lot of smaller hospitals to be able to create a program like this is really hard... What we wanted to do was really create a black box that had all those pieces solved for them."
  • AmplifyMD originally focused on small, community rural hospitals, but ultimately realized there is a need for health systems [almost] everywhere. “We can step in because we’ve made it so simple,” Mallipeddi says. “it’s plug-and-play, where [hospitals] can say ‘this is a specialty I need,' what can you do?”

Background: The husband-and-wife team launched AmplifyMD in November 2019 with a pilot program at DeSoto Memorial Hospital in Arcadia, Florida.

  • Formerly known as T SQRD, AmplifyMD's platform is used by 20-plus hospitals.
  • With virtual care, it expands patient access to specialists in cardiology, neurology, psychiatry, pulmonology, infectious disease, nephrology, hematology and oncology.

What’s next: The funding will be used to invest further in AmplifyMD’s technology, while driving scale by adding more health system partners while also exploring opportunities to penetrate adjacent facilities.

  • As patients are discharged into SNIFFs, LTACs or the home, "it’s natural for AmplifyMD to follow the entire patient journey," Mallipeddi says.

Yes, but: Critics of telehealth point to its transactional nature, where physicians are focusing on the number of patients seen and often engaging with patients once and then never again.

  • Conversely, AmplifyMD's co-founders say it is facilitating small, dedicated care teams that work together and coordinate care across the continuum. As a system of record for all remote workflows, it can better capture all patient outcome metrics.

The bottom line: AmplifyMD intends to modernize the way inpatient telehealth has historically been used by health systems, and may ultimately help to lay the framework for value-based care.

  • “We want to ensure we are delivering value and that is laying the foundation for us to move to a value-based pricing model,” Nathan says.
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