Originally published by Home Health Care News on May 10, 2022
Reverence – a digital home-based care coordination platform – has come out of stealth with $9.5 million in funding.
Backed by Target Global, Reverence will use the funding to build out a suite of products and services enabling the delivery of in-home care. The company has also earmarked some funds for the purposes of growing its team.
As the New York-based company continues to build its technology platform, its aim is to partner with health plans and coordinate the care of seniors receiving home-based care.
“We work with provider groups to help them deliver care effectively, consistently, cost-effectively, and at scale,” Lee Hudson Teslik, founder and CEO of Reverence, told Home Health Care News. “We start by helping them think through how they are deploying their people, and whether they’re doing it in a way that makes sense given the current staffing crisis.”
Like most of his peers working in the aging services space, Teslik recognized that the shifting demographics in the U.S. create a greater need for services.
At the same time, individuals receiving these services largely prefer for their care to be delivered in the home setting. The COVID-19 emergency has only increased this preference.
Despite this, Teslik stressed that the health care system isn’t prepared to handle the growing demand.
“You’re already seeing significant staffing shortages of nurses and care aides,” he said. “On top of that, from a cost dimension, you’re seeing really significant health care costs accelerating in a way that the current fee-for-service system isn’t really set up to support. For the new wave of demand for elder care, in general, and in the home. All of that is really what informs Reverence, our product and our mission. We’re trying to make home-based care work better for families and providers.”
In order to accomplish this goal, Reverence made a strategic acquisition. It purchased the AI-powered scheduling platform Hirehand.
“What we’re seeing within the health care system is just a lot of demand for this kind of thing,” Teslik said. “Providers that are sending both clinical or nonclinical practitioners into the home are struggling. When they see new technologies that can help them manage their practitioners in a better way, in a way that makes sense, and also in a way that feels good for the practitioners themselves, that’s something they’re eager to engage with.”
Prior to launching his company, Teslik was a former executive at Google. He believes his background will serve him well as he embarks on the launching of Reverence.
“My day to day [at Google] was shaping the growth strategy for these smaller but fast-growth businesses,” he said. “I think that was helpful for eventually transitioning into more of a startup environment.”
His background as a former journalist has also played a role in molding his current skill set, he believes.
“Journalism teaches a really relevant and useful skill set — the ability to assess a situation that you might not have had much exposure to previously, asking the right questions to really get to the bottom of something,” Teslik said.
Looking ahead, Teslik is focused on the potential gains that can be made in the value-based care space.
“Creative value-based care models are so essential to getting the puzzle right for home-based health care,” he said. “There’s really cool potential to do new stuff here because technology is making it cheaper to have in-home monitoring in a variety of different ways. Technology is also improving the ways in which different people who are going into the home can communicate with one another.”
A pitch deck shared by Business Insider suggests Reverence’s 2022 markets will be New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. By 2023, the startup is eyeing an expansion across much of the Midwest and East Coast, with a national footprint by 2024.
“Lee and the Reverence team have identified an incredible opportunity to transform a rapidly growing industry at a critical time,” Dr. Ricardo Schafer, a partner at Target Global, said in a press release. “As it stands, the home health industry is not equipped to provide clinically effective care at scale; but Reverence is changing that.”