Grand Rounds Raises $55M to Connect Patients With Specialists

Grand Rounds, a service companies use to give employees access to healthcare advice and treatment around the U.S. irrespective of where they live, has raised $55 million in a new financing round.

The company helps individuals find care for conditions they might not otherwise be able to access care for with the physicians in their area. Individuals with more complex cases, for example, can be connected to either in-person experts or a remote expert to review the case through Grand Rounds.

The process begins with an individual telling Grand Rounds what’s going on, and then giving the company a brief history of their condition. The individual then signs a release that allows Grand Rounds to collect medical data, like imaging and test results, to match that person to the right in-person care provider or remote expert. All of this can be done in a matter of hours, or even minutes, CEO Owen Tripp said.

In many cases, the best care providers aren’t located in areas like rural parts of the United States — and are instead in cities with research universities and some of best hospitals in the world. Getting access to the best physicians can cost a small fortune, but with a service like Grand Rounds tapped into a massive network of expert providers, that cost drops off dramatically.

“The promise, in either case, is that you’re going to see someone who’s not just a good doctor, or someone who went to a fancy program,” Tripp said. “You’re going to see someone who has a demonstrable clinical practice record [for your condition].”

But the benefit to employers is that they can get ahead of cases that might cost hundreds of thousands of dollars by connecting patients to experts familiar with their conditions. Those costs can then be dramatically reduced by finding the correct treatment plan in a short amount of time.

GRANDROUND_OWENTRIPP[1]TechCrunch previously reported that this financing round valued Grand Rounds at $750 million.

The story of Grand Rounds begins with Tripp and his co-founder’s families dealing with tough medical situations. In Tripp’s case, his father-in-law was dealing with a rare — but curable — cancer, but did not have access to an expert with experience dealing with his case. Essentially, Tripp said, people seeking health care are either in a network — meaning they know someone who can connect them to an expert — or the aren’t.

“You could be a low-income family living in rural Mississippi, and your mom is a nurse — and you’re connected to the system and they can help you navigate,” Tripp said. “Most people don’t have that level of insider care, we started the company to provide insider care.”

Grand Rounds serves more than 50 companies that run the spectrum of businesses, and the majority of them are large Fortune 500 companies. Many of the companies that use Grand Rounds are self-insured, meaning the company takes on the financial risk for health care.

“I don’t know if we’re gonna get to the first stage of search your symptoms, we might,” he said. “I could see using our software to help people take the first step in their care. But I think what I care more about right now, is being their traffic control for care. We care that when people are making a decision, they’re armed with the best possible information, and that will happen really quickly. It’s tens of thousands of dollars of saved for your company, it’s people who can run after being told they would never be able to run, it’s having a baby you were told you would never have. That’s how we measure ourselves.”

The fundraising is geared toward three things, Tripp said: improving the patient experience for those connecting to doctors remotely; maintaining an ability to acquire data speedily; and further building relationships with industry leaders in the hospital space to build upon the partnerships the company already has.

To be sure, there are many doctor-on-demand services. Doctor on Demand, for example, raised $50 million earlier this year, and it isn’t the only telemedicine startup that’s been active. But for Grand Rounds, the focus is on “access and speed,” Tripp said.

“Access is about being able to get to the door and to get the kind of knowledge and confidence in the provider that has been picked for you,” he said. “Speed is about, the ability to take anything you have in the healthcare system, to condense that as much as we possibly can, and to make it humane and make it feel like we have the power and design and customer experiences for things we’ve built. [Experiences] like ride-sharing, online banking — to bring that power to translate that into the healthcare experience.”

Grand rounds had raised $40 million prior to this financing round, and has raised $106 million to date.