Local health care IT firm secures more fundingWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toledo-based Homeward Healthcare recently finished its second round of fundraising with a $750,000 investment from Arsenal Capital Management (ACM).
St. Louis-based ACM joined CQuence Health Group as lead investors in Homeward Healthcare. Omaha, Nebraska-based CQuence invested $500,000 in Homeward Healthcare in the firm’s first round of funding in late 2013.
“We are very pleased to partner with Homeward Healthcare,” said ACM Managing Director Pete Reinecke in a news release announcing the partnership. “Helping patients achieve a better outcome while lowering readmission risk and thereby health care costs is a primary objective of [Homeward Healthcare’s] Digital Discharge program. We believe Joe [Gough] and his team are on the right path to achieving that goal.”
Homeward Healthcare is an IT company redesigning the discharge and care transition process for the benefit of patients, hospitals and payers. President and CEO Joe Gough is one of the company’s three co-founders.
“[Medicare and Medicaid] view preventable 30-day hospital readmissions as one of the major challenges for hospitals in 2015,” Gough said in the release. “Our motto of ‘Better outcomes and lower costs’ is the direction we see innovation moving in health care.”
Recent hospital studies indicate the Homeward Healthcare platform helped lower the baseline 30-day readmission rate by 32 percent for 200 cardiac patients in a pilot program and 19.3 percent overall, Gough said.
“We’re trying to make life easier for nurses and care managers by saving 19 to 34 minutes per patient, or $250,000 of savings in hourly wages for the discharge process,” he said.
The calculated savings are based on the annual number of discharges in a midlevel hospital, he said.
“Homeward Health is optimizing care transition episodes between hospitals and medical homes by going from paper to digital and automating the entire process,” said Brandon Cohen, general counsel for the company.
Homeward has developed three programs to help hospitals accomplish those goals.
The first program, Digital Discharge, is an interactive multimedia program providing discharge instructions, including patient assessment, to ensure patients are following care instructions.
The second program is Risk Score, which gives the care transition team an overall risk of the patient being readmitted within 30 days, Gough said.
Third, the CareTrans program provides the care transition staff a dashboard for patient messaging and navigation.
A hospital can use any one of the programs or all three.
Gough’s co-founders are Dr. James Weber and Dr. Michael Roebuck of the University of Michigan. Gough is listed as the lead inventor on the company’s pending patent application.
Dr. Jacques Donzé serves as clinical director on the advisory board for Homeward Healthcare. He is currently clinical director at Bern Hospital in Switzerland, where he is on loan from Harvard University.
Donzé co-created the HOSPITAL Score while working on a hospital readmission study at Harvard, which is the basis of Homeward’s risk indication platform and what Medicare has adopted for its risk stratification measure, Cohen said.
Gough and Cohen met through their involvement in the University of Toledo’s Innovation Enterprises. Cohen is an associate lecturer teaching business law and entrepreneurship in the management department at UT’s College of Business and Innovation.
Homeward Healthcare originally operated out of incubator facilities at UT but left in late 2013, just prior to its first fundraising round with CQuence Health Group.
The firm’s sales and business operations are located in its Toledo, office, currently operating out of another local incubator facility. They plan to relocate to the Medical Technology Business Incubator under development by ProMedica Innovations at ProMedica’s Wildwood campus, Cohen said.
For more information, go to www.homewardhc.com.
Tags: ACM, Arsenal Capital Management, CQuence, CQuence Health Group, Homeward Healthcare, Innovation Enterprises, James Weber, Joe Gough, Michael Roebuck, Pete Reinecke, ProMedica Innovations, University of Toledo