Our perspective

Strive Health: Improving Patient Outcomes and Managing $410 Billion of Unmanaged Kidney Disease Spend

Sumi Das
16 Mar 2021
Strive Health: Improving Patient Outcomes and Managing $410 Billion of Unmanaged Kidney Disease Spend

By Sumi Das, partner at CapitalG, and Nina Gerson, investor at CapitalG.

Strive Health is building comprehensive, tech-enabled kidney care management solutions to improve patient health outcomes and reign in treatment costs. We are thrilled to partner with co-founder and CEO Chris Riopelle and the extraordinary Strive Health team to support them in their journey.

Chronic Kidney Disease is a Top Chronic Condition

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a condition that affects 15% of U.S. adults and contributes to $410B+ unmanaged medical costs. People with CKD have a gradual loss of kidney function and are often asymptomatic until the disease progresses to advanced stages. When CKD reaches an advanced stage, the kidneys have issues managing fluid and waste and become at risk for kidney failure. If CKD goes untreated, it can progress to end-stage kidney failure, which is fatal without artificial fluid/waste filtering (dialysis) or a kidney transplant.

CKD patient needs are highly complex and require early intervention and management. Due to the complexities of proper treatment, coordination among different care providers is absolutely critical. Unfortunately, there’s a widespread lack of early disease diagnosis and proactive care management. Only 10% of people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are even aware they have the disease. Late diagnoses lead to often preventable, reactive emergency treatments requiring hospital stays, emergency dialysis, and other excess treatments and expenditures. In addition, the prevalent “Fee-for-Service” model, in which providers are paid for volume-based treatments, fails to incentivize proper patient management and leads to not only high costs, but worse patient outcomes. Around 60% of late-stage CKD patients “crash” into or start unplanned dialysis.

Value-Based Care arrangements can save 20–30% of medical costs

The advent of value-based care contracting arrangements presents a massive opportunity to better align incentives between payer and provider and ultimately dramatically improve patient experiences and outcomes. Value-based care arrangements compensate providers when they are able to improve patient outcomes and mitigate unnecessary expenditures.

Through extensive research, payer and provider interviews and monitoring regulatory developments, we understood that the industry is quickly moving towards adopting value-based care arrangements for CKD. For example, the U.S. adopted the 21st Century Cures Act and Comprehensive Kidney Care Contracting measures that enable parties throughout the healthcare ecosystem to enter into value-based care arrangements.

Strive Health is Revolutionizing Chronic Kidney Care Treatment

Entering into value-based care arrangements is no simple feat, particularly for complex CKD populations. Strive Health enables payers and providers to better manage their CKD patients by providing holistic, integrated care support.

Strive’s model combines advanced technology with high-touch patient care, delivering better patient outcomes at scale. The company’s care model is centered around its Kidney Hero™ team, which includes nurse practitioners, RN case managers, social workers, dietitians, pharmacists, and care coordinators. This specialized clinical team is bolstered by predictive analytics technology that identifies patients in highest need of care and recommends high-impact, efficient care plans.

Strive’s model is built to meet patients where they are, be it at a Strive center, in their home, via telehealth, or in a partner center. Strive’s Care Centers serve as a home base for the care team, providing home dialysis training, education and CKD care management.

Strive is the national leader in value-based kidney care, with a proven model that shows up to a 30% reduction in total healthcare spend and better patient outcomes. Strive has demonstrated clear market traction and has scaled its employee base by more than 600% in the last 12 months.

The company has signed contracts to deliver its innovative solution to leading healthcare providers, including SSM Health and Conviva Care Centers, and to healthcare payors, including Humana, Independence Blue Cross, and Blue Cross North Carolina. Strive also has partnerships with hundreds of nephrology providers through new Medicare payment models and aggressive growth plans for the coming year.

CapitalG’s Investment in Strive Health

At CapitalG, we take pride in backing the next generation of truly transformational companies. Strive Health is transforming the way Chronic Kidney Disease patients receive care, and we are thrilled to partner with them on their journey.

Chris Riopelle and the entire Strive Health team bring with them tremendous depth of experience from the kidney care industry and a drive to improve patients’ lives. We believe that Chris and his team are uniquely positioned to deliver upon this far-reaching and incredibly important opportunity.

We are excited to lead Strive Health’s $140M Series B financing and to support the team in their important mission. We know they’re going to drive much-needed efficiencies for our nation’s healthcare system and, even more importantly, help CKD patients live dramatically better lives.

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