Dealflow | December 10, 2020

Elation Health raises $40 million to digitize independent primary care providers

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, December 10 – On the surface, San Francisco-based Elation Health is a software company that helps independent doctor’s offices move from paper-based patient records to digital records. The bigger vision: shifting the U.S. healthcare system from transactional, fee-based care to patient-centered value-based care.

Elation raised $40 million in a Series C investment round led by Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management, with backing from existing investors Threshold Ventures and Kapor Capital.

Elation was launched in 2010 by brother-sister team Kyna and Conan Fong, who had watched their father’s private practice struggle to digitize its patient records. Most records management software is designed around billing, not patient care. “If you build fee-for-service software, you get fee-for-service workflows,” Generation’s Anthony Woolf told ImpactAlpha.

Elation’s software reminds doctors to check up on patients with chronic conditions. Since COVID, the software also facilitates telehealth. It is now being used by 14,000 clinicians caring for seven million Americans.

Says Woolf: “It transitions physicians towards taking care of people over the long-term.”

Aligned incentives

The U.S. healthcare system is the most expensive of all advanced economies — and too expensive for many Americans, particularly the elderly, who pay the most for healthcare.

“Doctors went to medical school to treat people, not incentivize them to get sicker” to charge them more for services, says Woolf.

As more independent primary care providers, like family doctors offices, choose to remain independent, rather than selling to large healthcare and hospital systems, they have increased negotiating power with insurers on how their services are billed.

“Insurers would much prefer to pay a fixed amount per patient, then transfer the risk for keeping the patient healthy to the doctor,” Woolf explains.

Generation sees Elation’s software as helping to enable that shift. “It’s a transition, not a flick of the switch, because it takes a complete rewiring of the system,” Woolf says. “What Elation is doing is clever, because it’s a product that works for the system today, but is architected for the system tomorrow.”