NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Aspire Health, a home and outpatient-based palliative care provider, announced today it will open specialized house-call physician practices in four additional states, focused exclusively on serving patients facing serious illnesses such as advanced cancer, heart failure, and end-stage renal disease. The company also announced it has closed a Series B funding round led by Sandbox Industries and BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners. These announcements come on the heels of Aspire’s initial pilot, which preliminary data shows has reduced hospitalizations by between 56% and 72%.
“I look forward to working with Aspire to scale its innovative delivery model across the country.”
“Today, 5% of patients in the United States account for more than 50% of total healthcare spending. A large portion of these patients are facing an advanced illness,” said Bill Frist, Aspire Health Co-Founder and Chairman and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader. “Aspire’s specialized physician practices provide these patients with an extra layer of support that not only helps improve their quality of life but also helps significantly reduce total healthcare costs.”
Aspire Health’s specialized physician practices are led by palliative care physicians and staffed by an interdisciplinary team of specially trained physicians, advanced practice nurses, social workers, nurses and chaplains. Aspire’s clinicians are experts in providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness; helping patients and caregivers navigate the healthcare system; guiding patients and caregivers through difficult and complex treatment choices; and providing emotional and spiritual support to patients and their families. Aspire serves patients both in their homes as well as in a number of outpatient clinics co-located within large primary care and specialist offices. Aspire’s physicians and advanced practice nurses are available to patients 24/7.
In addition to its current practice in Nashville, Aspire is opening practices in additional cities in Tennessee as well as new practices in Alabama, Florida, Illinois, and Texas. “Facing an advanced illness can be one of the most challenging times in life for patients and their loved ones,” said Dr. Martha Twaddle, a former President of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, who will be leading Aspire’s Chicago practice. “I am excited to partner with Aspire to build a model that will provide these very vulnerable patients and their families with an extra layer of support.”
Aspire has also brought on Dr. Janet Bull, Chief Medical Officer for Four Seasons Hospice in Asheville, North Carolina, as a Senior Medical Advisor. Dr. Bull and Four Seasons were the sole palliative care organization to be awarded a Round 2 Healthcare Innovation Grant by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to explore innovative payment models. “Aspire’s work is a great complement to our work at Four Seasons that is focused on building innovative reimbursement models for home-based palliative care,” said Dr. Bull. “I look forward to working with Aspire to scale its innovative delivery model across the country.”
Aspire also announced today it has closed a Series B funding round led by Sandbox Industries and BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, a corporate venture fund which includes 24 BlueCross and BlueShield companies.
“Palliative care is one of those few places in healthcare that has been proven to both improve the quality of care available to patients and their families while simultaneously helping significantly reduce total healthcare costs,” said Matt Downs, Managing Director of Sandbox Industries. “Health plans across the country are looking for innovative solutions like Aspire’s to help address this critical need.”
Aspire plans to open additional practices in new locations each quarter for the next several years as it partners with additional Medicare Advantage, commercial, and managed Medicaid plans as well as accountable care organizations.
About Aspire Health
Aspire Health is a home and outpatient-based palliative care provider that operates a group of specialized physician practices that care for patients facing a serious illness. Aspire was co-founded by Senator Bill Frist, a physician, and is based in Nashville, Tennessee. Additional information on Aspire Health can be found at www.aspirehealthcare.com.
About BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, L.P.
BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, L.P. is a $305 million corporate venture fund licensed by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. The fund invests in promising emerging companies of strategic relevance to Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans. For more information, please visit www.bcbsvp.com.
About Sandbox Industries
Sandbox Industries is a Chicago-based venture capital firm and startup foundry that builds and grows new businesses internally. Sandbox, founded in 2003, has launched several companies and exclusively manages the BlueCross BlueShield Venture Fund. For more information, visit www.sandboxindustries.com.