Blueprint Health Reflects, Rolls Out Latest Crew of Grads at Demo Day

9/27/13Follow @benthefidler

Before introducing their latest batch of startups to a packed room of investors, Blueprint Health co-founders Mat Farkash and Brad Weinberg stepped back a bit to talk about where the healthcare IT accelerator has come over the past few years.

“It’s kind of weird to think back [to] about three years ago, [when] Mat sent me this rather long, momentous e-mail that said, ‘let’s do it,’” Weinberg joked.

From there, Blueprint has gone on to graduate 38 health tech companies from four different classes, counting the nine new startups (their founders pictured above) that showed their wares at the City Winery in Lower Manhattan on Thursday. According to Farkash, 10 of the 11 companies that completed the accelerator’s last boot camp in April are generating revenue, as are 89 percent of the startups that have come out of Blueprint Health since its first class in 2011. He didn’t say how many of the graduates are profitable.

Still, those companies have been successful getting the cash they need to get off the ground. According to Farkash, Luminate Health, one of the grads from its last class, recently closed a $1 million funding round. Another, Touch Surgery, raised $1.5 million and now is on pace to collect $500,000 a year in revenue. HealthyOut? It raised $1.2 million. Keona Health? $600,000. The list goes on.

That doesn’t mean, of course, that these startups, or many of the others churned out by Blueprint, are in the clear by any stretch. Even with an initial investment in the bank, it takes years of work, relationship building, and perhaps a little luck, to create a successful, sustainable business—let alone returns for investors.

“They still need to figure out how to navigate large companies, find key stakeholders, to find those advocates who will help them move their business forward,” Weinberg said. “But what we’ve seen over these past three years is that all of these companies’ businesses are built on the support of relationships.”

That’s the work that lies ahead for Blueprint’s latest crop. The accelerator looked at over 300 applications for its latest class, which began in July, before backing nine new entrants. Here’s a recap of those companies and their business plans:

WellTrackOne—The Affordable Care Act contains a provision called the “Annual Wellness Visit,” under which Medicare pays physicians $180 per patient, per year, to perform a brief preventive health checkup—but Peter Bechtel, CEO of WellTrackOne, said that only a small percentage of seniors have done it. WellTrackOne wants to solve this with a service/software combination: it schedules the visits, staffs a practice with a nurse to perform it, and has the software to generate a Medicare-approved report for a physician to review and integrate into the patient’s electronic health records. The idea is that this will help physicians make more money without taking up more of their time. WellTrack charges clinicians $100 per patient for its services, and generates about $50 in gross profit from each visit. It isn’t profitable yet, but has close to $1 million in revenue, and expects to be able to generate about $5 million in revenue by 2014.

ReferBright—A digital marketing platform designed to help independent health practitioners boost their referrals. A practitioner fills out a ReferBright profile—indicating rates, specialties, qualifications, and acceptable insurance—and the startup distributes it to a slew of websites, directories, and apps that are tailored to that practitioner’s specialty and location. ReferBright charges a $19 to $49 per month subscription fee, with a three-month commitment up front. It breaks even on each deal after three months, and earns an average of $300 per year, per practitioner, according to co-founder and CEO Brett Larkin.

CredSimple—Medical credentialing, or the mandated process of screening physicians for their qualifications, is a time-consuming, expensive procedure that often takes two to three months, according to CredSimple CEO Mike Simmons—his web-based service is designed to make it much more efficient. Clients upload a list of providers into CredSimple’s engine, which verifies the qualifications of those practitioners with 214 different data sources. CredSimple then sends a report with its findings. “60 days of turnaround time we’re able to turn out in just four days, and in the process we’re cutting the cost of credentialing by half,” Simmons says.

Customers, such as insurance companies, pay a subscription fee based on the number of providers in their network or hospital.

SpotMe—A web-based platform that manages fitness benefits, such as gym memberships, for employers. An HR administrator signs on to its site, fills in the size of the benefit package, and how those benefits will be funded, and SpotMe handles the rest, according to CEO Jarrod Wolf. SpotMe charges customers between $99 and $499 per month, depending on the size of the company. It expects to have 500 customers by the middle of 2014, and 1,000 customers—and a $2 million annual run rate—by the end of that year, Wolf said.

BoardVitals—A test-preparation tool that is supposed to help physicians—specifically, those in specialty fields like pathology or psychiatry—pass their board exams. BoardVitals has an online bank of board exam questions with answer explanations, references and links to applicable sources, and statistical measures to track a student’s strengths and weakness, and how he/she is doing compared to other users. BoardVitals charges, on average, $99 per physician, per month—most use the service for 1.5 months. It currently has an annual run rate of about $350,000 per year, and is already profitable, says CEO Dan Lambert.

StaffInsight—A web-based analytical tool that tracks the productivity of workforces in hospitals and long-term care facilities. StaffInsight’s dashboards help healthcare facility managers identify which units are under- or overstaffed, establish benchmarks for improvement, model staffing to achieve those benchmarks, schedule hours, and track hours worked, according to CEO Cristopher Laibe. StaffInsight charges between $50,000 and $100,000 per year for its service, has partnerships with Cerner and Applied Management Systems, and is projecting $2 million in revenue in 2014, he says.

Healthify—Healthcare centers are financially incentivized to get certified as “Patient-Centered Medical Homes,” (PCMH) a model of care in which a team of providers coordinate all of a patient’s health needs. Unfortunately, according to Healthify CEO Manik Bhat, it’s tough to get. These centers have to meet a long list of qualifications—like conducting patient-by-patient screenings—and don’t have an efficient way to meet those benchmarks. Healthify has a screening tool that can conduct these screenings electronically, and give that information to a case manager, making it easier for these centers to qualify for PCMH status.

Genterpret—This startup helps pharmaceutical companies identify patients that will best respond to their experimental drugs. Genterpret uses targeted advertising to find people willing to share their genetic information, and after screening volunteers, gathers the data, combs through it for genetic variants linked to drug response, and sends a report to its pharmaceutical client, according to co-founder and Harvard University researcher Steve Hershman. Genterpet charges clients $1,000, per patient, for the data. Hershman says Genterpet is in talks with a “top five pharmaceutical company” to supply it with data for 2,000 patients with osteoporosis. Harvard genomics expert George Church is one of Genterpret’s advisors.

Artemis—Developer of a web-based platform that analyzes health claims data for self-insured employers. Artemis takes all third-party data—medical claims, pharmaceutical claims, health-risk assessments—pulls it together, analyzes it, finds where an employer can potentially save money, and makes suggestions based on what it finds. Clients pay an annual SaaS license fee of $50,000-$150,000 depending on the number of members they have, according to co-founder Grant Gordon.

Ben Fidler is Xconomy's Deputy Biotechnology Editor. You can e-mail him at bfidler@xconomy.com Follow @benthefidler

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