Health plans back Solera’s SDOH program with $42 million

Health plans have been showing increasing interest in social determinants of health, and now they’re starting to back that up with some venture capital.

HCSC Ventures, the country’s largest customer-owned health insurer, along with a handful of Blues plans announced last week that they are backing Solera Health with $42 million to improve care by focusing on SDOH. Solera uses data science to consolidate highly fragmented programs and services into a single marketplace for health plans and employers, which helps them proactively identify what will best fit an individual’s needs.

Health plans joining HCSC Ventures in this latest investment round were Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, Blue Shield of California and BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners/Sandbox Advantage Fund.

“At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, we believe that addressing the social determinants of health for our beneficiary populations will be key to our community health program moving forward,” says Bret Oettmeier, president and CEO of Cobalt Ventures, the private equity subsidiary of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City. “We are excited to support the company’s efforts to better address these issues, with an ultimate goal of improving care quality while lowering associated costs.”

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Solera’s network of curated, hyper-local resources has evolved during the past year to support a broader array of lifestyle modification programs, including diabetes management, hypertension, stress, sleep, tobacco cessation and weight management, the company said. The new round of funding will enable Solera to expand from chronic disease prevention and management to address behavioral health and SDOH that includes food insecurity, medically tailored meals, transportation, falls prevention and social isolation.

“HCSC Ventures supports growth in transformational companies that share our goals of fostering innovation and increasing the accessibility and affordability of care,” says Sahil Choudhry, assistant vice president of corporate development and venture investments at HCSC Ventures. “Solera Health’s mission of improving people’s health by connecting them with a network of healthcare solutions is something that truly resonates with us. The company’s innovative network model has already helped millions of individuals change their habits and reduce their risk of developing chronic disease.”

The investment round follows a partnership Solera made in March with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Institute to launch a nationwide program to tackle SDOH at the community level. The alliance enables health plans to document health improvement and cost savings through Solera’s network of providers and payment infrastructure to address SDOH in a sustainable and scalable way.

“There is no greater vote of confidence for the impact Solera Health is making than a substantial investment from our health plan clients,” says Brenda Schmidt, CEO of Solera Health. “We’ve proven our model’s success in driving results in chronic disease prevention and look forward to expanding our relationships with our health plan partners to help their members holistically manage their health.”

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