HealthTech startup PursueCare receives Series A investment funding to meet increasing demand for telehealth addiction treatment services at home during COVID-19 outbreak
PursueCare, a Middletown, Connecticut-based technology-enabled health services startup and a provider of telemedicine in treating individuals struggling with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), today announced a Series A capital fundraise to help meet growing demand for its virtual medication-assisted treatment programs due to COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) outbreaks. The total amount of funding was not disclosed. The round was led by Chicago-based venture firms Seyen Capital and OCA Ventures, along with a syndicate of existing and new investors.
Founded in 2018 by Nicholas Mercadante, PursueCare was developed through collaboration between experienced and entrepreneurial individuals from the behavioral health and pharmacy fields, and the technology industry. PursueCare’s app and services were launched in 2019 to address rural populations suffering from high rates of OUD, and a lack of comprehensive treatment options in their communities. The innovative “tele-MAT” model gives patients convenient and private access to care, including medical providers who can prescribe medication like Suboxone, addiction counselors, behavioral therapists, and at-home toxicology screening. Care coordinators help patients get started with a treatment plan, and provide support throughout care.
The PursueCare app is designed for use on any smart phone or tablet, and can be used by individuals with limited data plans in areas with poor cellular service. The telehealth care provided is covered by most insurances.
Ordinarily, treatment with buprenorphine medications like Suboxone requires a a one-time visit to a partnering medical facility before treatment can continue at home. However, on March 16th, 2020, the DEA published a COVID-19 Information Page containing guidance waiving this requirement during the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services public health emergency declaration.
“People with OUD and other substance use disorders may be at greater risk due to the effects of those substances on lung and heart health,” said PursueCare’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steven Powell, MD. “By transitioning patients out of physical interaction and ensuring they can safely receive consistent care from home, we can help reduce unnecessary exposure for vulnerable populations.”
PursueCare establishes transition-of-care programs with partnering community health centers, hospitals, primary care, and residential programs using its PursueCare Connect portal product. The portal makes it possible to quickly collaborate with on-site providers, and immediately assess and smoothly transition patients into virtual care at home.
The company recently announced it will be waiving PursueCare Connect portal implementation fees to support adoption and use by health partners during the COVID-19 outbreak to refer patients to PursueCare’s telehealth providers.
“We already work with healthcare organizations in rural and underserved areas that are short on resources and don’t ordinarily treat substance use disorders directly,” said CEO and Co-Founder Nick Mercadante. “We can immediately take some of the burden off of emergency departments and walk-in centers that anticipate being overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients. By increasing availability to our partner portal, we hope more facilities take advantage of our ability to immediately triage patients into effective evidence-based treatment so they can free up staff and resources for COVID-19 care.”