New digital recovery assurance company is first to combine data, technology, and behavioral health experts to shorten recovery and prevent costly hospital readmissions
TEL AVIV–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Laguna Health, a post-hospital recovery assurance company offering a value-based solution to reduce costly readmissions and shorten recovery times, today publicly launched and announced $6.6M in seed-funding. Pitango HealthTech and LionBird co-led the funding round, with participation from Assaf Wand, founder and CEO of Hippo Insurance and Josh Riff, founder and CEO of Onduo. Laguna’s recovery platform is the first to fuse data, digital care tools, and proven behavioral health interventions to radically reduce negative outcomes. These include lost productivity, mental health issues, substance use disorder or misuse, and the $80B+ spent annually on readmissions.1 Now with Laguna, all the key stakeholders in the health care ecosystem—including employers, health plans, and health systems—have the ability to ensure every patient recovers with confidence.
Actuarial research published by SBActuaries and Laguna Health reveals that over 80% of the hospitalized working age population is discharged from the hospital to self-care at home, affecting tens of millions of adults each year. More than a third of these patients transition to higher cost settings over the course of a year with readmissions driving a disproportionate 25% of the total cost of care. For payers, this means that for every 100,000 working age members, over $145M is spent on readmitted members. For providers, readmissions imply adverse quality ratings on measures such as Medicare Star Rating, HEDIS Score, as well as significant risk and losses for value based organizations.2
Multiple evidence-based interventions have proven that 50% of readmission cases are preventable. Laguna integrates high value interventions into a “Waze of recovery”—a personalized recovery journey app, providing step-by-step instructions that are refined over the course of treatment to meet a member’s evolving individual recovery needs. This is achieved through the Laguna data analytics engine that provides real-time insights to coaches and member guidance for ideal recovery. Laguna members can choose between a fully digital and personalized recovery journey or interactions with live expert recovery coaches via text, telephone, or video.
Laguna’s business model aligns with improving member outcomes, with key performance metrics including: decreasing readmissions, reducing depression post-discharge, and lowering overall utilization. The episodic nature of recovery combined with detailed actuarial modeling of patient pathways post-discharge enables Laguna to offer value-based arrangements. The risk-driven model equips leading providers and payers with an accountable digital recovery solution leading to lower overall cost and shorter recovery times.
Founded by Yoni Shtein and Yael Adam, Laguna builds on Yoni’s experience in the finance risk underwriting world and Yael’s dedication to healthcare and improving lives through technology. Yoni’s experience as a founding member of the insurance business at RPX Corp and investor at Fortress Investment Group positions him well to underwrite and manage risk in the healthcare industry. As a co-founder of Vim, an award winning company building digital infrastructure for US healthcare, and CPO at Bond, an eCommerce technology company, Yael brings the expertise to build engaging products that improve health outcomes.
“We’ve all been traumatized by losing a loved one, but the trauma is compounded when you find out there’s a world where it could have been prevented,” said Laguna CEO and co-founder, Yoni Shtein. “Not only can bad recovery lead to terrible health outcomes, it wastes billions of dollars every year—and it’s a category of digital healthcare that has not received proper attention. Laguna exists to solve this problem: by combining data, technology and behavioral health, we offer a valued-based digital solution to help all people successfully recover after hospitalization.”
“Recovery is one of the greatest challenges in your life,” Dr. Mark Lampert, MD, MBA, Deputy Head, Division of Cardiology at NorthShore University Health System and Laguna Chief Clinical Officer. “Over the last 20 years, everyday I’ve witnessed the difficulties my patients have faced when recovering. Nobody is actually prepared for the challenge.”
Under Dr. Lampert’s guidance, Laguna launched their inaugural clinical study at NorthShore. “The Laguna team has a keen understanding of the problem from the patient, physician, and medical system’s perspective. That is a unique combination. Their depth of understanding of the behavioral aspects of the patient’s recovery journey is unsurpassed. I’m convinced that their methodology designed to aid patients will undoubtedly have a major impact. That’s why I’m using Laguna with my patients now and am advising the company as Chief Clinical Officer.”
“Good ideas are only as good as the talent behind them,” said Guy Ezekiel, Managing Partner at Pitango Health. “The Laguna team has identified a critically underserved area of healthcare and they’ve assembled the best of the best to solve recovery as we know it; this will change the industry, save lives, and reduce billions of dollars in wasted spending. Their traction to date is unparalleled and we’re excited for what the next year will bring.”
About Laguna Health:
Laguna is a recovery assurance company that leverages digital care and behavioral therapists to reduce readmissions and shorten recovery time. Laguna guarantees successful post-hospitalization recovery by combining data, digital care tools, and proven behavioral health interventions to radically reduce negative outcomes. From employers to health plans to health systems, the entire health care ecosystem now has the ability to ensure every patient recovers with confidence. To learn more about Laguna, visit www.lagunahealth.com
LionBird is a venture capital firm investing in pre-scale digital health companies with operations in Tel Aviv and Chicago. Founded in 2012 by veteran entrepreneurs and Fortune 100 executives in the software and healthcare industries, LionBird provides pre-scale capital and assistance to mission-driven teams re-engineering the status quo in their fields. Since its inception, the firm has invested in more than 30 founding teams across the U.S. and Israel and now has over $150 million in AUM. To learn more about LionBird or to contact the team, visit www.lionbird.com
About Pitango HealthTech
Pitango has been home to visionary entrepreneurs and groundbreaking companies since 1993 and manages over $2B across its funds. From stealth mode to shining unicorns, Pitango invests via three parallel funds: Pitango Early Stage, Pitango Growth and Pitango HealthTech. Since its inception, Pitango has invested in more than 200 startups, many of which have become category leaders, went public and/or were acquired by strategic players. Learn more at www.pitango.com
1 Duncan, Ian, et al. “Patient Post-Discharge Transitions and Inpatient Readmissions Impose Costly Burdens for Employers and Carriers.” Patient Post-Discharge Transitions and Inpatient Readmissions Impose Costly Burdens for Employers and Carriers Ian Duncan, Karen Fitzner, Elaine Zhao, and Yoni Shtein, 13 Apr. 2021, www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/pop.2021.0037.
2 Duncan, Ian, et al. “Patient Post-Discharge Transitions and Inpatient Readmissions Impose Costly Burdens for Employers and Carriers.” Patient Post-Discharge Transitions and Inpatient Readmissions Impose Costly Burdens for Employers and Carriers Ian Duncan, Karen Fitzner, Elaine Zhao, and Yoni Shtein, 13 Apr. 2021, www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/pop.2021.0037
Gregg Delman, 415-935-1804