Health, Wellness & Biotech

ShiftMed Raises $200M As Nursing Shortage Transforms Hospitals

Illustration of doctor/patient on virtual appointment.

The pandemic brought to light a problem long festering in the health care industry: a shortage of workers, burnt out by low pay, long hours, and juggling many patients at once.

ShiftMed, a health care workforce marketplace, announced on Monday it raised $200 million in fresh funding to tackle the nurse shortage in the U.S. health care system. The round was led by health care-focused Panoramic Ventures with participation from Blue Heron Capital and Audacious Capital.

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ShiftMed is addressing a nursing shortage crippling care facilities in America. Hospitals and nursing facilities depend on support staff, but they are leaving in droves, making hospitals, elder care facilities and medical offices scramble to care for patients in a timely manner.

Many hospitals have reverted to booking travel nurses, who fly into a specific area and work temporarily and are usually paid better than full-time nursing employees.

But booking travel nurses requires hospitals to be acutely aware of how much labor they need at a given moment and taking into account how many emergencies they may treat. Hospitals operate on low margins, and they don’t want to overbook on staff if they don’t have to.

Connecting nurses

Virginia-based ShiftMed connects 35,000 full-time nurses with hospitals and at-home care companies that need last-minute, extra support through an automated scheduling platform. The company says it can reduce operating costs 30%-40% by relying less on travel nurse agencies.

“By diminishing reliance on travel nurses, ensuring a compliant W-2 workforce, and providing tools to increase retention, we see a path for large health systems to change the labor framework to give them control and predictability,” said CEO Todd Walrath.

ShiftMed is one of several startups moving away from gig work employment in health care. In August, Incredible Health raised $80 million to help hospital systems quickly hire nurses.  Greater Good Health, which finds long-term employment for nurse practitioners who can take on some work normally assigned to doctors, raised $10 million in May.

Also in May, health care scheduling platform ShiftKey raised $300 million to pair nurses and health care organizations on a temporary basis.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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