UpStream Lands $140M for VBC Services

Many VCs appear to be done waiting on the sidelines, with VBC tech startup UpStream Healthcare adding to the recent string of digital health mega-rounds with an eye-popping $140M Series B raise.

UpStream provides primary care physicians operating under full-risk, value-based arrangements with a suite of solutions designed to help manage complex populations such as seniors on Medicare. 

  • To accomplish this, UpStream deploys pharmacist-led care teams into partner practices with the aim of improving patient outcomes (and generating shared savings) through careful prescription management.
  • Upstream also equips PCPs with a tech platform built on top of Innovaccer’s unified patient record to enable custom chronic care workflows that predict health risks and provide clinically contextual patient engagement sequences.
  • Providers get the benefit of offloading most of the administrative burden that comes with transitioning to VBC, as well as proactive compensation for delivering quality care through Upstream’s GAP-Q program.

The Series B raise will be used to help UpStream expand to 20 states over the next three years, with the goal of becoming profitable in each market within 24 months.

  • UpStream currently has over 2,900 physicians contracted for 2023 across Community Care Physician Network in North Carolina, Tidewater Medical Group in Virginia, Primary Care Associates in South Carolina, and MUSC Health Alliance.
  • Like most companies operating in this space, UpStream views provider burnout as one of its key adoption drivers, and it’ll be focused on bringing its solution to independent physicians, large health systems, and everyone in between.

The Takeaway
As more PCPs continue moving towards value-based care models, companies like Agilon, Privia, Tebra, and UpStream have each begun competing with their own unique flavor of resources to help enable the transition. UpStream’s pharmacist-centric approach seems like a solid way to help PCPs manage risk without adding more work to their plates, but the VBC-enablement landscape has plenty of competition and each strategy’s individual results will ultimately be what decides the victors.

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-- The Digital Health Wire team