Health, Wellness & Biotech

Finding The Best Doctors: Garner Health Brings In $12.5M Series A For Recommendation Platform

Illustration of piggy bank with stethoscope insides.

Health tech company Garner Health aims to highlight individual doctor performance so that its corporate clients’ employees can receive better health care experiences no matter which doctor they choose.

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“We looked at patient data and found that patients in the same geography, ones you would think would have the same outcome, ended up with different health and cost outcomes,” Nick Reber, Garner Health founder and CEO, told Crunchbase News. “One would go to the doctor and be okay, another one, not so much. The biggest determinant, and the driver of costs and outcomes, is which doctor the person saw.”

That patient data led the New York-based company to develop a platform that analyzes large amounts of medical insurance claims to identify the highest-quality doctors in a city or neighborhood. Partnering with employers, Garner guides employees to the best doctors, and if they use Garner to choose their doctor, the employer agrees to pay the employees’ out-of-pocket costs. The employers end up saving thousands on medical bills, an estimated 10 percent in overall health benefit costs, Reber said.

To aid in the company’s growth, it raised $12.5 million in Series A funding led by Founders Fund, with support from Maverick Ventures and Thrive Capital. In total, the company has raised $17 million, which includes a $4.5 million seed round in 2020, led by Thrive, according to Crunchbase data.

Brian Singerman, partner at Founders Fund, said in an interview that he used to work with Reber at Oscar Health, and while knowing him was a factor in the decision to invest in the company, one of the missions of Founders Fund is to cut the cost of health care.

“This is a space we have known and cared about for quite some time,” Singerman said. “A company giving people financial incentive to see better doctors and a great founder working on something like this is a no-brainer. It is hard to get outcomes data and to give people proper data, and Garner is doing that.”

Meanwhile, Garner’s platform currently serves more than 10,000 members in more than 30 states. Reber intends to use the new funding to build out Garner’s sales and engineering teams, as well as improve its data. And while much of its growth comes from word-of-mouth referrals, he would like to see that shift to include partnerships with health care brokers and health plans.

Although there are other platforms, such as Healthgrades, Yelp or Google, for searches, competitors aren’t able to provide the same kind of unbiased and transparent doctor rankings Garner Health can because the company has no financial relationship with health care providers, Reber said. Instead, recommendations are based on cost and quality analytics derived from hard data.

“Transparency tools help you understand what an MRI costs, but no one uses that because everyone trusts their doctor about where to go, rather than looking on the app,” he said.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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