bouldering carea Portland, Oregon-based telehealth provider focused on medical treatment and support for people overcoming substance use disorders has raised $36 million in Series B funding.
Founded in 2017 by Stephanie Strong, the company is on a mission to tackle overdose rates nationwide, particularly in opioid and alcohol use disorders. Analysis of the White House in 2017 shows that costs of the opioid epidemic was over half a billion dollars.
About 92,000 people in the US died from drug overdoses in 2020, including illegal drugs and prescription opioids, according to National Institute on Drug Abuse figures† Overdose deaths have risen steadily since the late 1990s, but the 2020 figure is a sharp increase from just over 70,600 deaths in 2019.
To fulfill its mission, Boulder Care delivers thousands of doses of naloxone, an opioid overdose drug, to patients and, in addition to the medication, also provides telehealth support, including case management, peer coaching and basic needs support. Boulder works to connect disparate caregivers along the continuum of care, “rather than facilitating ‘warm transfers,’ we never let go of a patient’s hand,” Strong told gotechbusiness.com.
It’s been a hot minute since we checked in with the company, which was last profiled around the start of the global pandemic, when opioid treatment gained momentum. At the time, Boulder Care raised $10 million in Series A financing, led by Tusk Venture Partners.
During this time, the business went from caring for hundreds of patients to thousands of patients, Strong said. And as the industry is moving towards value-added potential, it made sense to look for additional funding to accelerate growth.
“We are now working with dozens of plans and want to meet those needs,” she added. “We also plan to methodically enter into partnerships and new states.”
Series B backers include Qiming Venture Partners (US), Goodwater Capital, Laerdal Million Lives Fund and existing investors First Round Capital, Greycroft, Tusk Venture Partners and Gaingels. The new investment will bring the company more than $50 million in total investment.
The company has seen 100% year-over-year customer renewals since 2017, and 70% of its patients stay with the program for 12 months. Strong also mentions that the 90% retention rate for a month is a threefold improvement over industry benchmarks.
It also launched partnerships with 20 corporate clients, enabling millions of people across the country to access the company’s services through health plans and employers, including Regence, Anthem, Comcast and Hewlett Packard through ComPsych EAP.
In the 2 years since Series A, Boulder Care has also posted some impressive growth, serving several thousand patients with opioid and alcohol use disorders and increasing its sales more than 10 times.
Much of the revenue comes from reimbursements within the network of managed Medicaid plans that cover low-income members with complex needs. This means that most Boulder Care patients pay nothing out of pocket to be part of the program.
With this funding, Strong expects to triple the size of Boulder Care’s medical group, expand and deepen its presence in multiple markets, and implement payment contracts that hold the company accountable for clinical and non-clinical outcomes.
The company is not alone in using technology to solve the problem of substance abuse. Others have also attracted some venture capital in recent years – for example, Path, which offers care as part of an employee benefit; Affect, which focuses on methamphetamine abuse; and Monument and Tempest, both aimed at alcoholism.
Strong says what sets Boulder Care apart from some of its competitors is the number of health plan contracts it has and that most of its patients pay nothing for the program, or perhaps a $4 co-pay, compared to others offering monthly subscription rates. they are pricing out people who can’t afford to keep it up in the long run.
Next, the company will focus on growing into new states “in a thoughtful way,” Strong said. As it enters new states, the company strives to establish relationships with local and state programs as a way to bridge the gaps in telehealth care. It is also working with regulators on what telemedicine might look like as substance abuse care evolves.