Health IT, Startups

Heal expands house call-on-demand service eastward with DC launch

Last year, Heal raised back to back Series A and B rounds to support the company’s expansion.

Heal claims it has had 10,000 customers since its launch last year.

A Los Angeles-based healthcare startup providing house calls on demand is moving beyond its home state of California with the addition of offices in the District of Columbia.

As part of the expansion, Heal hired Dr. Kari Scantlebury as its first east coast medical director. Scantlebury, who has dual board certification in Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medical Services, practices at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

The company provides primary care services as well as an X-ray service for people with mobility issues, breast exams, STI and urinary tract infection testing, lasceration repair and suture removal. Customers can make appointments through Heal’s app.

Nick Desai, CEO and cofounder of Heal, said in an email that the move was partly strategic but also politically motivated.

“The DC/Northern Virginia markets are great for Heal because they have a lot of working families with kids, which our core to our user base. DC also has a lot of travelers and tourists, who need doctors when they are away from home. The decision to launch in DC wasn’t completely political, although we understand decision makers reside in this market. Truly, we wanted a strong market on the east coast, and DC is where we found a great Market Director and Medical Director first.”

Heal is not facilitating the expansion with local collaborations but is “actively hiring” highly qualified doctors and medical assistants in the region through traditional hiring means, Desai said.

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“We’ve already made about 10 full-time hires for medical staff and another five for office and local-market staff. These are people who are local members of the DC and Northern Virginia areas. Everywhere Heal launches, we hire people in that market, creating local jobs for high-quality candidates.”

Although Heal’s service is reimbursed by insurers in California, such as Blue Shield of California, Cigna Healthcare, Aetna and United Healthcare, it will charge up to $99 for its service until it can get insurers in the DC area on board.

Heal’s expansion has been fueled in part by back-to-back fundraising last year, first in a Series A round, which was quickly followed by a Series B. To date, it has raised $54.8 million. Investors include Fidelity Management and Research Company, Tull Investment Group, Breyer Capital, Qualcomm Executive Chairman Paul Jacobs, Hashtag One, March Capital Partners, and Slow Ventures. Vocalist Lionel Richie and former Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Jamie McCourt are also backers.

Although house calls aided by IT, such as Livio Heath Group and RetraceHealth, and Honor’s caregiver service have been around for awhile, healthcare organizations collaborating with car services to ensure patients make their medical appointments, has taken off in the past year through Lyft and Uber, as well as more specialized companies such as RoundTrip.

Although scaling a business is a challenge for any young company, it can be especially tough for companies like Heal and Honor, because they have to make strategic bets on cities that they will be able to find enough staff to meet their needs in the new locations as well as enough customers to justify the expansion.

Photo: Heal