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News release by The Launch Place
The Launch Place, a venture development organization with offices in Danville, VA, and Research Triangle Park, NC, has invested $75,000 from their Pre-Seed Fund II in Virginia-based KinergyCare.
KinergyCare provides a low cost, patient-centric health care experience through collaboration between technology, health care professionals, patients and their caregivers. The company was started as a passion project by founder Gail Embt, who became the primary caregiver for her mother who was battling Alzheimer’s disease. During this time in her life she came to a conclusion that there had to be a better way to help patients manage their health outside of a health care setting.
By connecting with hospitals and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) KinergyCare identifies qualified Medicare patients and deploys Community Health Workers to assist with care coaching and coordination, which Medicare programs provide reimbursement for. These workers not only assist patients with managing their health, but also help address what are called social determinants of health, such as coordinating needs in transportation or housing. KinergyCare combines this support with a unique focus on health care data collection to better identify and address unmet patient needs. The end result is improved health and a reduction in emergency room visits. This service is a low cost solution that many hospitals and other care providers cannot currently offer patients.
“Our goal is to be an extension of a practice,” said KinergyCare CEO Arthur Spivy. “We hire within the local community to better identify with and support patients in their area. Our unique local focus includes supporting hospitals and Federally Qualified Health Centers in the same area, creating a natural synergy of addressing patient issues early enough that we can reduce emergency room visits significantly.” Currently, KinergyCare is serving more than 200 patients in Southwest Virginia and has hired a team of six staff from that area.
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) recognizes the work Community Health Workers do to bridge the gap between the health care system and members of the community. The Virginia Community Health Worker Advisory Group, which Spivy serves on, has been working over the past several years to build educational tools and other resources to effectively sustain the Community Health Worker workforce in the state.
“The work of expanding this valuable network of individuals within the commonwealth’s health care system has been a great collaborative effort between the health care community and private sector partners,” said VDH Health Director Dr. Scott Spillmann. “The number of patients in our communities that qualify for Medicare reimbursement is a driving force behind the workforce development and health care policy recommendations.” By tapping into these underutilized resources within communities, KinergyCare’s care coordination solution has the potential to serve a network of 32 million patients nationwide.
With the investment from The Launch Place, KinergyCare hopes to continue building their workforce by training more Community Health Workers, expand their network of health care providers and developing a pilot program in the Danville region that offers additional support services, such as additional support services for Medicaid recipients. The team hopes that their pilot program will act as a model for the rest of the Commonwealth of Virginia as KinergyCare works to expand across southern Virginia and potentially into North Carolina.
“Start-ups in the health care industry like KinergyCare have offered strong investment opportunities for The Launch Place in the past,” said President and CEO of The Launch Place, Eva Doss. “We helped our investment portfolio companies focused on health care, health tech and medical devices facilitate introductions to local and regional hospitals, as well as other investors throughout the Southeast. We are keeping our eye on KinergyCare and hope to be able to carry on investing in the future as they achieve their expansion goals.”
While KinergyCare is primarily a virtual company at this time, according to Spivy the company hopes to set up a hub office in Danville. Their team holds virtual meetings daily to discuss ongoing work and problem-solve. “Every day during our meetings we discover a big impact that a member of our team has made with a patient, including a number of exceptional efforts that probably saved someone’s life,” said Spivy. “This is a heartwarming and much needed service.”
About The Launch Place:
The Launch Place provides new and early stage business support services and pre-seed and seed investments for technology startups in Virginia and North Carolina. As a venture development organization with the purpose to plan, fund, launch and grow businesses, TLP helps companies to get started, or to expand their operations by providing business consulting services, office space, and by investing in them through its investment funds.
KinergyCare bridges the gap between health care providers and patients by facilitating low cost care coaching and coordination. KinergyCare envisions a model where better health comes through collaboration and empowerment of all members of the health care team including the patient and family caregivers.