Jan 15, 2022

2021 - Building Accessibility and Equity in Healthcare

Now that 2021 is in the rear view window, it’s a good time to exhale and reflect on a year that I’ll remember as being the ultimate stress test for virtual primary care. A stress test, I’m pleased to say, that CirrusMD passed in every regard.

Whether it was expanding our telemental health capabilities to meet the increased market demand, applying Virtual Primary Care capabilities to improve chronic condition management, or closing gaps in care access, we continued to innovate and lead.

I’m proud of how CirrusMD continues to meet every challenge — no matter what twists and turns present themselves — and stay true to our mission to increase accessibility and equity to high-quality, whole person care.

I want to recognize the tireless efforts of the CirrusMD team, including a nationally-based team of clinical and business professionals who run our organization and support our customers, their members, and employees. And I want to give special appreciation to our exceptional clients and business partners, who never stop working to make the delivery of healthcare a better experience for patients.

— Andrew Altorfer, CEO and co-founder, CirrusMD


Access and Equity

For nearly 10 years, we’ve seen CirrusMD function as the great equalizer in increasing access and care among diverse populations. We’re heartened to have our first-hand experiences validated through employer-based research.

A national retailer offering CirrusMD to their uninsured / unenrolled workers reported that they decreased employee presenteeism, improved job satisfaction and saved $1 million in productivity costs. Check out the case study.

A study with one of CirrusMD’s large employers revealed equitable levels of care across their entire employee population, with no variance based on race.

All employee populations experienced similar utilization rates of CirrusMD virtual care, identical on-platform encounter resolution rates (74%), primary drivers of encounters (75% acute care need), and patient satisfaction rates (96.8%).


ACCESS TO CARE CAN BE IMPROVED

An estimated 10% of all Americans are uninsured.
  • Nearly 30% of Americans with employer-sponsored insurance and 45% with individual coverage are underinsured.*
  • 37% of rural Americans don’t have access to broadband.
  • Care access can be improved: 85% of Americans own a smartphone.
  • Text-driven telemedicine can be the great equalizer.



Clinical Focus

To support our patients with whole person Virtual Primary Care, and expand speciality care and condition management, we increased our Provider Network in expertise and diversity.

A few years ago, patients primarily looked to telehealth for acute care. That’s changed. Now they are looking for a full range of services from their telemedicine provider, much as they would from their primary care physician. To address this increased demand for Virtual Primary Care, CirrusMD expanded specialty care areas, including behavioral health, asthma, hypertension, diabetes, women’s health, wellness, and even weight management.

In 2021, we:

  • Expanded the CirrusMD Primary Care Clinic, where patients can schedule followup virtual consultations with physicians across a range of specialties, and CirrusMD doctors can check-in with patients currently receiving care. In practice, this includes patients being treated for chronic conditions like asthma, patients managing behavioral health issues and even those seeking assistance with weight loss.
  • Received a 3-year Accreditation in Credentialing by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Health plans working with CirrusMD can now delegate all credentialing functions to our provider network, which streamlines the process of delivering telehealth services to health plan members in all 50 states.
  • Expanded our behavioral health practice to include physician-directed, self-guided behavioral health modules that can be accessed by patients on-demand to address a variety of conditions, including depression, anxiety, insomnia and stress.
  • Partnered with one of our large employer customers to provide home monitoring otoscopes to a segment of their employee population, helping with remote diagnosis and treatment of ear infections.
  • Increased the size of our provider network, including an increase in diversity of our physician team members. Today, nearly half of our doctors are women and one third are persons of color.


Markets & Customers

In 2021, we greatly expanded our footprint with new customers and partners, including self-insured employers, government-sponsored health plans, and through a growing constellation of employee benefits consultants and resellers.

We focused on bringing our employer and health plan customers the services that delight their members and employees, as well as the data and analytics they need to effectively plan and manage resources. As as result of these strategic initiatives, CirrusMD:

  • Experienced 100% customer retention across health plans and employers.
  • On-boarded new customers including several major national retailers and education groups.
  • Expanded our relationship with the Veteran’s Administration and VA Health Chat, which now covers over 2.5 million Veterans.
  • Expanded with Medicaid plans to provide coverage to more than 4 million Medicaid members.
  • Grew relationships with national broker and consultant groups, including Mercer and Piper Jordan, and resellers Flexcare and Transcarent.


Strategic Partnerships

CirrusMD forged key alliances with leading digital health companies:

Transcarent

A significant 2021 milestone was being selected by Transcarent as its partner for integrated virtual care. Transcarent provides health consumers with a unified health and care experience for their top health needs, enabling easy access to high-quality guidance and care – whenever, wherever, and however they need it, often at no cost to members. Transcarent and CirrusMD have partnered to create a differentiated virtual care experience for Transcarent members, including:

  • Fully integrating virtual care into the Transcarent experience, enabling Transcarent members to have single sign on access to care, 24/7, within 60 seconds. 
  • Building bidirectional data sharing to ensure care teams have context on a member’s needs before, during and after their episodes of care–no need for the member to repeat themselves.
  • Facilitating continuity of care for members by providing access to the same provider for an unlimited 7-day window, focused on driving to resolution of need.
We have also continued to expand our relationships with other thought leaders at:

HealthSparq — helping members make smarter healthcare choices by providing guidance and transparency within their health plans' digital experiences.

Omada Health — creating evidence-based care plans that support patients managing hypertension and diabetes through their virtual cardiometabolic clinic.


Solution Focus

Integrations, physician efficiency and patient experience took center stage, as CirrusMD built out our Virtual Primary Care offering.

To continue delivering a user experience that is immediate, easy and intuitive, we focused on making the workflows for our physicians more efficient. The catalyst was our commitment to building integrations that allow patient data to flow securely through Health Information Exchanges (HIEs), so encounter data can more easily flow into patient records.


Throughout 2021, our product and design team worked to make the provider and patient experience as efficient as possible, creating:

  • Integrations through HIEs, through application programming interfaces (APIs) and with connections to national laboratory networks for diagnostic testing, as well as a new architecture to connect the CirrusMD platform to Mirth and Health Gorilla.
  • Greater ease of use for providers, with even more efficient workflows and information sharing on the CirrusMD platform. Enhancements for physicians included updates to progress notes for easier review of medical history, and shared phrase and notification enhancements. With provider efficiency as one of the keys to CirrusMD scalability, recent enhancements resulted in a 45% increase in encounters per hour, per provider, with a 68% decrease in administrative time spent at the end of an encounter.
  • Accessibility enhancements for patients and their dependents, together with enhancements to securely capture Diversity, Equity & Inclusion related data, such as preferred pronoun, race and ethnicity.


Business Growth

To support our growing community of clients and members, we grew our business infrastructure and the team at CirrusMD.

In March, we closed our Series C round of funding, led by Blue Venture Fund, with participation from 7wireVentures, Drive Capital and the Colorado Impact Fund, bringing total funding to $46 million. This $20M round of funding carries CirrusMD through our next phase of growth, with continued expansion of solution capabilities, enhanced user and provider experiences, increased scalability, and even greater innovation to support employer and health plan customers.

We nearly doubled our base of full time employees, bringing on new team members in:

  • Product and Engineering to advance our solutions
  • IT and Security to advance our infrastructure
  • Sales, Marketing and Client Success to support the growing needs of our customers
  • Clinical to expand our Provider Network and increase diversity, expand Behavioral Health and support new medical specialties

While Denver remains our home, we were happy to expand our team to now encompass employees from 22 states, all of whom are committed to our mission of increasing accessibility and equity to high-quality, whole person care.