Health IT

Wisconsin health IT firm MyHealthDIRECT raises $4 million

MyHealthDIRECT Inc., a Brookfield, Wisconsin-based health IT firm, expects to nearly double its workforce and quadruple its sales in 2011. Given these goals, the $4 million it raised in a recent funding round would sure come in handy.

The lead investor was Arboretum Ventures, a healthcare venture capital firm, while Chrysalis Ventures also chipped in.

MyHealthDIRECT is a web-based access management system that helps people get healthcare appointments within a network or a community. Founded in 2005, the company has a browser-based software that can organize and book available appointments in the community into a searchable and schedulable inventory of healthcare services.

“MyHealthDIRECT is rapidly establishing itself as the ‘Open Table’ of healthcare, and we are very pleased to provide it with additional growth capital,” said Tim Petersen, Managing Director, Arboretum Ventures, in a statement. Petersen was referring to, the popular service that allows diners to reserve tables in restaurants in select cities.


In an interview this week, Chief Executive Officer Jay Mason said the tool provides operational and financial efficiency for hospitals as well as managed care plans.

A regulatory filing earlier this week shows that the company hoped to raise $4.17 million, and ended up raising $4.02 million. A 2009 filing with the U. S. Securities & Exchange Commission shows that the company raised $4.9 million in Series A funding.

Mason explained that this time around, the money will be used in the client services side in preparation of some major contracts he expects to be inked in the next two months. Customers are managed care plans, as well as hospitals.

Mason shared an example of how the software improved the efficiency of one call center of a managed care plan. The call center does primary care and specialty referrals. When patients call in to get an appointment, the call center operator has to also call the specialist’s office and the primary care doctor’s office on the line to try and get availability for appointments. That takes 14.5 minutes on average.

“It’s a train wreck,” Mason said. “It’s not pretty; it’s not efficient.”

Using MyHealthDIRECT’s web-based tool, the call center operator now has a clear view of what dates and times are available and can book appointments instantly based on the patient’s convenience. That process now takes 3.5 minutes, Mason said.

Mason added that the confluence of two things has benefitted his health IT company greatly — the “decimation of healthcare budgets” requiring people to do more with less, and the need to be more transparent and offer more choice to patients.

He expects that by the end of the year MyHealthDIRECT will have 58 employees; currently, it has 29. He declined to provide revenue details or pricing information for the product, which he said varies greatly depending on the profile of the customer. It is a subscription-based model.

MyHealthDIRECT has 104 customers including Aurora Health Care, a nonprofit healthcare provider and network of doctors, physicians  and hospitals serving Wisconsin and northern Illinois; Amerigroup, a multi-state Medicaid managed care plan; and Banner Health, a nonprofit healthcare system serving Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming.

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