Centivo Acquires a Primary Care Startup, Despite Others Fleeing the Space

Centivo, a health plan that sells to self-funded employers, acquired virtual-first primary care startup Eden Health. With this acquisition, Centivo now serves more than 160 employers in all 50 states.

In the past two months, massive companies have been throwing in the towel for their primary and virtual care offerings — including Walmart, Optum and Walgreens. While these big players are exiting the market, one company is pursuing a major expansion. 

Centivo, a health plan that only sells to self-funded employers, announced Monday that it acquired virtual-first primary care startup Eden Health. The financial terms of the deal are undisclosed. 

“With the acquisition of Eden, Centivo strengthens its market-leading position as the affordable health plan centered around advanced primary care,” said Centivo CEO Ashok Subramanian.

Buffalo, New York-based Centivo was founded in 2017 with a mission to bring affordable healthcare to the millions of American workers who struggle to pay their medical bills. The startup’s name is rooted in the word “incentive” because Centivo is here to help fix the broken incentives that hamper the ability for employers, employees and providers to collectively achieve positive health outcomes, Subramanian explained.

He added that Centivo centers every member’s experience on advanced primary care — and the company even built its own virtual primary care practice. 

In Subramanian’s view, the current system for paying for primary care isn’t working. He thinks it leads to poorly organized care that is neither cost-effective nor fair to everyone. Yet, strong primary care is essential for a healthy healthcare system, he pointed out.

“At Centivo, we are laser focused on removing barriers to healthcare — financial, time, transportation deserts — and integrating key healthcare services such as primary care and mental health care into a fully integrated, primary care-centered health plan,” Subramanian declared.

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With its acquisition of Eden Health, Centivo now serves more than 160 employers, ranging from Fortune 100 companies to small businesses. The deal also expands Centivo’s reach into all 50 states, allowing the company to provide nationwide virtual primary care — along with the capability to add clinical services such as mental healthcare, urgent care and pop-up clinics — Subramanian explained.

The acquisition will also integrate Eden Health’s technology, which combines its clinicians’ EHR system with its proprietary member app. This technology enables data-driven engagement and collaborative care, no matter the care modality, Subramanian added.

He also noted that Centivo and Eden Health share a common heritage as part of Grand Central Tech, a residency that gathers pre-series A companies and founders in New York City.

“Centivo has long respected and admired the product and team at Eden Health — so much so that Centivo had a commercial partnership with Eden Health and also offered its solution to its own employees and their families,” Subramanian declared.

Photo: Natee Meepian, Getty Images