Originally published by Fierce Healthcare on April 11, 2023
Virtual gastrointestinal care clinic Oshi Health picked up $30 million in fresh funding to scale up its technology and meet growing demand from patients, employers, health plans and provider groups.
Launched in 2020, the startup has raised $59.5 million to date. The company declined to disclose its valuation but confirmed that the series B funding round was an "up round."
The round was led by new investor Koch Disruptive Technologies and joined by existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Flare Capital Partners, Frist Cressey Ventures, CVS Health Ventures and Takeda Digital Ventures.
Oshi Health is a virtual gastrointestinal care clinic addressing issues including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. The platform uses a comprehensive approach with gastroenterologists, dietitians, behavioral health support and care coordinators.
The startup has scored partnerships with health platform Solera Health and virtual care company Firefly Health. Earlier this month, Oshi Health announced a new value-based care collaboration with Aetna, which is owned by CVS Health, to provide virtual care for digestive disorders to certain members.
Oshi executives said the fresh funding will accelerate the next phase of the company's growth, to scale its clinical team nationwide and forge relationships with health plans, employers, channel partners and provider groups.
“We’ve paved the way for broad access to proven treatments that our traditional healthcare system is not structured or incentivized to provide, while building value for patients, employers, health plans and provider groups,” said Sam Holliday, Oshi Health CEO, in a statement. “Our investors are collectively funding the change-makers in the most crucial categories of healthcare. They see the transformation opportunity and urgency in digestive care as clearly as we do, and we’re proud to have them back our mission to free millions of Americans from their struggle with digestive symptoms and conditions.”
Oshi Health is currently available to over 20 million people as a preferred in-network virtual gastroenterology clinic for national and regional insurers as well as their employer customers. Oshi also partners with community GI practices in a collaborative hybrid model to extend access to care, including reimbursed access to dietary and behavioral therapies.
Digestive disorders affect 1 in 4 Americans and have a high economic burden, driving $135 billion in annual costs—a collective impact greater than diabetes, heart disease and mental health. The digestive health specialty is a top five spend category, marked by prolonged suffering, high avoidable costs and long waits for appointments.
In traditional GI care, patients lack support between visits and are left on their own to decipher complicated symptoms and coordinate their own care. Unmanaged digestive symptoms are a high driver of emergency department treat-and-release visits, according to the company.
Oshi Health connects users with an integrated care team consisting of GI specialists—board-certified gastroenterologists, registered dietitians, GI-specialized mental health clinicians and nurse practitioners. The company's approach is to get to the root causes of chronic digestive symptoms and members come to understand their own dietary and psychological triggers through iterative treatment and response.
A prospective study sponsored by Oshi Health and presented at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Forum showed that the company's virtual multidisciplinary care resulted in significantly higher levels of patient engagement, satisfaction and symptom control. The study found that 92% of patients reported symptom improvement with 98% patient satisfaction. Oshi Health's services also drove all-cause medical cost savings of $10,292 per patient in just six months, the study found.
The recent clinical study results are driving accelerated contracting with payers and employers to reimburse access to Oshi Health as a covered benefit, according to the company.
“We’ve seen the impact of Oshi Health’s unique care model, and we want to be part of helping health plans and employers understand the significant potential of its virtual multidisciplinary digestive care,” said David Mauney, managing director of Koch Disruptive Technologies. “We are excited to help scale access to Oshi’s best-in-class virtual clinic and proven outcomes which have given them the clear market lead.”
There is a growing list of virtual-first companies focused on gastrointestinal care and the sector is attracting more investment dollars. Last year, Vivante Health raised $16 million in a series A funding round led by 7wireVentures while Salvo Health, a New York-based virtual health clinic focusing on specialty care for chronic gut conditions, nabbed $10 million in seed funding.
Ayble Health launched last year with $4.6 million in seed funding designed to be a precision health platform for patients with chronic GI conditions.