Susan Price, October 21, 2016
On any given day, millions of Americans are taking elderly parents or chronically ill relatives to doctor’s appointments, making them meals, renewing prescriptions, dealing with insurance companies, hospitals, nursing homes and so on. They are also going to work or school and raising families, all the while dealing with the stress and emotional toll of what is often a frustrating, roller-coaster journey. “There is a silent caregiver crisis in this country,” says Lindsay Jurist-Rosner.
She speaks from experience. Jurist-Rosner was nine years old when her mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a chronic, often unpredictable, neurological disease. Knowing just how challenging caregiving can be, Jurist-Rosner and her co-founder, Kevin Roche, have started Wellthy. The platform links families with a virtual care coordinator who serves as expert, advocate, and organizer, and takes over many of a caregiver’s tasks. “I built the business I needed and wanted for myself,” says Jurist-Rosner.
Wellthy launched about a year ago at TechCrunch Disrupt as a direct-to-consumer business, and six months ago it began signing corporate clients including Hearst. The startup just closed a $2 million seed round with investments from Hearst, Sweet Capital, Athenahealth founder Jonathan Bush, HBS Angels and Aspiration Growth Ventures.
Here’s how it works: Caregivers are matched with a coordinator—usually a social worker—who manages a wide range of aspects of a patient’s care, from guiding families through complex insurance claims, helping them find specialists, aides or assisted living homes, to handling routine tasks like refilling prescriptions or ordering supplies. The site acts as a communication hub, storing medical information as well as making it easy for the coordinator, caregiver and extended family to share updates. Plans run $300 for one month, and $200 a month for a six-month option. Some of the platform’s tools are available at no charge. [Rest of Story]