Six million dollars in seed funding will allow Curve Health to expand its platform, combining long-term care telemedicine, smart billing, health information exchange and predictive analytics, and attract new partners.

The model builds on a concept started by the much-talked about but short-lived company Call9. President and Executive Chair Timothy Peck, M.D., founded Call9, pairing emergency physicians with a skilled nursing facility-based telemedicine platform to reduce unnecessary hospital trips.

Call9 cut hospitalization rates by 44% when compared to a control group in a 4,600-patient study recently published in the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine. But the company shuttered in mid-2019, citing Medicare’s reluctance to offer broad reimbursement for telehealth services in SNFs. 

The last 18 months brought significant change on that front. “COVID-19 has heightened the urgency of delivering virtual care to this vulnerable patient population,” Peck said. “Additionally, the Medicare payment mechanisms that were not in place when Call9 existed — and that we advocated for — are now in place, so we see unlimited potential to deliver the Curve solution, scale to nursing homes and ambulance companies across the country, improve patient care and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations.”

The modified approach at work in the Curve model pays physicians by the encounter, making it attractive to both senior care providers and provider practice groups that serve nursing homes. Previously, Call9 staffed its own clinicians.

“Curve Health has a mature product and a leadership team with domain expertise — a rare combination for an early-stage company,” said CEO Rob MacNaughton, who is heading a market expansion plan hitting SNFs, hospitals, ambulance companies and physician groups.