Over the last year, health systems across the country defied their traditionally “slow mover” stereotype, sprinting towards digital transformation and shifting the paradigm of conventional care models to grapple with the new, emergent needs of patients in the wake of a global pandemic. Maintaining status quo? No longer an option for healthcare organizations. After years of slow and steady gains, virtual care infrastructure arose at scale almost overnight. This technology met the needs of the moment, enabling remote diagnosis and treatment at a time when the country’s hospitals needed to preserve supplies, guard against overcapacity and maintain social distancing.
What we didn’t realize back then was that the rise in virtual care signalled the quickening of a larger, more comprehensive revolution in digital health that aligns to modern consumer preferences. Healthcare providers, from renowned integrated delivery networks to local specialists, adopted enhanced patient-centric technology at an unprecedented clip. As a result, demand for an improved patient experience beyond the clinical visit — facilitated by user-friendly interfaces, data-driven engagement strategies and transparency-promoting features — is catching fire. Is it too much to ask for a convenient and personalized (even empathetic!) option to resolve medical bills? No. As it turns out, the administrative and financial aspects of a healthcare experience do not, in fact, have to be frustrating or confounding.
Some of the most forward-thinking healthcare providers in the U.S. have partnered with Cedar to help meet increased consumer demand for a better healthcare experience. And Cedar’s core value proposition and product roadmap coincided perfectly with this moment, offering an empathetic, humanized healthcare financial solution right when patients and providers needed it most.
Since the beginning of 2020, Cedar has partnered with 21 new healthcare providers, supporting 5.5 million new patients. And we have helped 3-in-4 of the health system patients with whom we interact to meet their financial obligations by providing clarity into healthcare costs and pathways to affordability. With more patients paying their bills, healthcare organizations also have a lifeline to avoid financial insolvency — which is crucial during this time of crisis, as hospitals and health system teams are moving mountains to care for their patients and protect their essential staff.
It’s a start, but there is so much more to do. This new $200 million Series D round of funding, led by Tiger Global Management, will enable us to scale Cedar’s value for both patients and healthcare providers, in line with significantly heightened demand.
For patients, we are improving their healthcare experience further by extending our platform’s reach into the process that begins before the clinical visit even occurs, easing administrative burden (fewer forms, more guidance), offering actionable transparency around out-of-pocket costs (by the time patients present for care, not months later) and recommending financial solutions (illuminating options that may exist around charity care or financial assistance).
For providers, we’re continuing to deliver against an innovative product roadmap that meets both their urgent needs and long-term ideals, offering continuous insight into how to best engage their unique patient populations and identify opportunities to increase trust, satisfaction and loyalty. We are also building out an experienced team to accelerate implementations and optimize repeatable processes, increasing speed-to-value by scaling the integrations we’ve built with all the leading EHR systems and seamlessly layering our solutions into complex internal workflows.
As health systems continue to embrace digital transformation and the alignment between meeting (and exceeding) patient expectations and improved financial outcomes, Cedar will be ready to partner with them — and to raise the bar on the patient experience, yet again.
Florian Otto is co-founder and CEO of Cedar. Prior to founding Cedar, Florian was an executive at Zocdoc where he drove the commercial adoption of the platform by health systems. Previously, Florian founded a daily deal company in Brazil (ClubeUrbano) that was sold to Groupon. Florian holds an M.D., D.D.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Freiburg, Germany.