$50 Million in Seed Funding

Avaneer Health Announces $50 Million in Seed Funding from Healthcare Industry Leaders

CHICAGO, Jan. 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Avaneer Health, a fully interoperable, participant-based network developed for and by the healthcare industry, today announced several industry-leading organizations have committed a total of $50 million in seed funding to the venture. Within the U.S. healthcare system, persistent challenges continue to exist in achieving real, fluid data interoperability, which can result in inefficiencies.

“Addressing administrative costs and creating a positive consumer experience requires connectivity and the type of data fluidity we have come to expect in other industries,” said Stuart Hanson, founding CEO of Avaneer Health. “We are very excited to jumpstart our network to enable healthcare organizations to work together with a foundation of trust to solve the ‘last mile’ problem in healthcare. This group of well-known industry backers gives Avaneer Health the initial capital, scale and knowledge base from launch, and positions us for additional growth and industry venture investments in 2022.”

With a single connection, participants have access to solutions for securely transacting and administering healthcare.Tweet this

The first network participants on Avaneer Health represent 80 million covered lives and 14 million annual patient visits and include Aetna, a CVS Health company, Anthem, Cleveland Clinic, Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company (HCSC), The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., Sentara Healthcare and a global healthcare technology firm.

According to The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S. healthcare spending grew 4.6% in 2019, reaching $3.8 trillion or $11,582 per person, with a forecast to escalate to $6 trillion by 2025. Addressing data flow inefficiencies in healthcare would help immensely and save tens of billions of dollars annually, according to the CAQH 2020 Index Report.

With a single connection to Avaneer Health, network participants will have access to a range of solutions for securely transacting and administering healthcare and deploy innovative solutions that streamline processes. The platform enables more expedient access to care while enhancing the consumer experience, reducing administrative waste and improving outcomes. Participants are rewarded with improved consumer loyalty, lower physician burnout and reduced technology and operational costs. Avaneer Health began rapidly growing in late 2021 and plans to use the funding to invest in the talent and technology to launch its nationwide network, solutions, and marketplace.

“Interoperability is essential to help increase efficiency, enhance security and improve the healthcare experience for our members and their families, and we’re honored to be part of this collaboration that helps further our commitment to create affordable, sustainable pathways to health,” said Marv Richardson, co-chair of Avaneer Health’s Board of Directors and senior vice president and chief information officer, HCSC, which operates health plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

“Together, we’re changing the paradigm of healthcare data flows with a secure network empowered by blockchain, FHIR and other leading technologies,” said Tim Skeen, co-chair of Avaneer Health’s Board of Directors and senior vice president and CIO, Sentara Healthcare, an integrated healthcare system in Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. “To achieve truly frictionless and seamless care, healthcare needs greater transparency and ease of navigation for all parties involved, particularly as we move toward greater adoption of value-based care. The Avaneer Health network will achieve this with an inclusive, participant-based ecosystem with common practices and utilities.”

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Healthcare, Heal Thyself

We have the innovation and technology to do it, but are we ready to act?

By Stuart Hanson

Anyone who says innovation in healthcare doesn’t exist hasn’t been paying attention for the past 18 months. From the way providers large and small pivoted to telehealth to keep patients safe, to the way scientists from around the world came together to develop vaccines and treatment protocols, to the way public health agencies worked to provide mass distribution of the vaccinations—innovation and cooperation abounded. Was it all perfect? No. But it does show that we are capable of innovating urgently.

One area where innovation is clearly lacking, and has been for a very long time, is interoperability. It’s an issue that numerous companies, consortiums, agencies, and others have been trying to solve for decades. Regardless, the issue remains. 

A personal story

In the midst of the pandemic, I needed an emergency eye procedure. I was lucky that my provider was able to quickly verify my coverage with my insurance company and I was able to get the treatment I needed. During my follow-up exam, I met another patient who also needed an emergency eye procedure. If he didn’t get it, he risked retinal detachment, a condition that could lead to blindness if not treated in time. While we were in the waiting room, the man told me that he had already been to the office twice before to have the procedure, but was sent home because the provider hadn’t been able to connect with the man’s insurance company to verify coverage. I don’t know what happened to the man, whether he got the surgery in time to avoid retinal detachment or whether his condition deteriorated. 

This same scenario is played out all too often across our country. In a time when can share news in near real time with family and friends on Instagram, it can still take weeks or months to share critical administrative and clinical healthcare data between two entities whose actions—or inactions—can be the difference between life or death. Why?

The issue isn’t that we lack innovation to fix the problem. The issue is that we’re focused on fixing the wrong problem. We have entrepreneurs and tech giants entering the healthcare market every day, bringing with them new apps or solutions that promise to “transform” healthcare. But most of those solutions sit ON the technical infrastructure, whereas the real problem is the infrastructure. A great telehealth app may streamline workflows or improve patient-provider connectivity, but new apps can be virtually impossible to bolt together with the provider’s billing system, clinical record system, or privacy and security controls. Although it may be great, innovative, timely technology that we desperately need, it’s yet another layer added on top of previous layers that sit atop an outdated, ineffective infrastructure—an infrastructure built primarily to support batch-based, one-way communications like EDI. It’s like building a yacht on top of a rowboat.

Network as a Service

If we want to create real transformation in healthcare, we need a new infrastructure blueprint—one that doesn’t add additional features on top of a fractured system. We need an infrastructure that starts from the bottom up. It exists, thanks to truly innovative companies that recognized the problem and realized that a viable solution is already available. In 2019, IBM, PNC Bank, Anthem, CVS Aetna, Cleveland Clinic, Sentara Healthcare, and Health Care Services Corporation came together to discuss how blockchain and other new technologies could solve the systemic problems that have plagued our industry for too long: data sharing, data integrity, and trust. Together, they formed Avaneer Health. 

The focus of Avaneer Health is leveraging blockchain and other technologies to create a neutral network through which healthcare organizations, patients, and other key stakeholders can access accurate, timely information in real time—an Internet for healthcare. 

How it Works

First, payers and providers commit data to the cloud and allow it to be discoverable based on permissions that are set by each party. Users can connect to the network via the cloud, where the ID keychain and master index locates the information requested and matches it to the data available, then delivers it to the requestor. The intermediary—Avaneer Health—provides certification, end-point validation, an immutable audit trail, cybersecurity, and compliance. Use cases include eligibility verification, prior authorization, and real-time access to accurate, complete medical records.

The network also connects with rich solution providers like revenue cycle management companies, telehealth platforms and others that are involved in care coordination or the business of healthcare. This eliminates the need for payers and providers to build and maintain connections with multiple systems. Fewer touchpoints means fewer opportunities for security issues, not to mention reduced IT costs and resources needed to manage those gateways.

The Time to Act is Now

If the U.S. healthcare system were its own country, it would rank forth in GDP, right behind China but ahead of countries like Germany, India, and the UK. We spend between 25% and 30% more per person on healthcare than any other country. This might be okay if our outcomes were better, but they aren’t. I keep thinking of the man I met in the waiting room and wondering how much longer he had to wait or if he ever got the surgery at all.

We know the problem and we have the technology, innovation, and ability to solve it. The question is whether we’re going to act or if we’re going to continue to build layers on top of layers on top of layers. Our patients are waiting on us to make the call. 

Why are we still talking about administrative waste?

Are we STILL talking about administrative waste in the American healthcare system? In a word, yes. Why? There are at least 760 billion “reasons” (dollars) annually. According to the JAMA, the United States wastes almost a quarter of its healthcare spending, somewhere between $760 billion and $935 billion, including an estimated $265.6 billion on administrative complexity.

The U.S. spends more on healthcare than any other country but realizes worse outcomes than most. According to a Commonwealth Fund study from 2019, despite spending 16.9 percent of our GDP on healthcare, the U.S. ranked last among 11 industrialized countries on health case system performance measures. Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom all do better when it comes to leading long, healthy, and productive lives. 

We’ve all heard the adage, the best defense is a good offense. In the game of football, that means keeping the ball away from the other team to prevent them from scoring. That may be an admirable strategy on the gridiron, but it can be devastating in healthcare. 

In our game of healthcare administration, it’s payers versus providers and patient data is the football. We punt the data to the other team but work hard to keep them from holding on to it for too long. The goal is control, but it’s the patient that loses. It’s time to pick a different strategy, one built on trust and centered on the good of the patient. 

What is administrative complexity?

Examples of administrative complexity are many and varied, from having to fill out forms in duplicate, rekeying existing data into a system, or managing data via fax transmissions. Most often, administrative complexity is part of billing and insurance-related (BIR) processes. These processes attempt to answer questions like:

Some estimate that nearly half of all BIR costs are for activities that are unnecessary or duplicative. Remember the football game? To further complicate things, the referees are so nervous that one of the teams is planning on cheating (upcoding) that they keep enacting new rules. This, in turn, leads to the players looking for new creative options to “win” the game.

Why does the system work so poorly?

At its most basic level, the system is broken, and all this money is being spent on workarounds that require human intervention. The multiple, often redundant, connection points increase costs, delay care, and create personal and organizational friction. Most of the organizations involved can’t communicate directly as they have their own unique data structures and no way to share the data, even if they wanted to. (And some don’t. That proprietary data is a key business asset.) 

And, of course, there is the fax. You know, technology that died out everywhere else in the 1990s. Other industries have figured out how to electronically share data securely without losing control of prime business assets. The healthcare industry is still sending faxes. Why?

The answer is deceptively simple. Remove barriers to data sharing with an inclusive network. Connect each participant and gives access to permissioned, updated data. 

Going back to our football analogy: Until we play like a team, we’ll never be able to claim victory over this mess that is the U.S. healthcare system.

Avaneer Health CEO Stuart Hanson to Deliver Keynote Address at Fifth Annual ConVerge2Xcelerate Symposium

CHICAGO, Nov. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Avaneer Health , a member-based, secure, and open healthcare network, announced today that its chief executive officer, Stuart Hanson, will deliver the keynote address on Thursday, November 11, 2021, at the fifth annual ConVerge2Xcelerate symposium on Telehealth and Technology Driving Healthcare Post-Pandemic: Blueprint for a New Digital Health Era.

Focusing on health policy, telehealth and virtual care, blockchain and edge technologies, ConVerge2Xcelerate 2021 is a three-day virtual event that brings together healthcare systems, think tanks, health technology companies, and pharmaceutical companies, as well as international government policymakers, specialist advisors, and leading academics. Sessions are focused on new and cost-effective ways to successively navigate a new digital health era. 

Hanson will focus on how the infrastructure of the current healthcare system is broken and outline how to fix it. His address, “Accelerating Healthcare with Innovation in Blockchain”, will include discussion on the need for a new infrastructure in healthcare and how that infrastructure leverages blockchain and other leading technologies to change the way healthcare operates. The presentation will include:

More about Stuart Hanson.

Press Contact
Rick Sheehy 
Carlton PR & Marketing
On behalf of Avaneer Health

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Avaneer Health Reveals How Its Inclusive, Interoperable Network Unlocks the Full Potential of Healthcare

At HIMSS21, Avaneer Health gives insight into how an interoperable and decentralized network drives efficiencies and creates better healthcare experiences

CHICAGO, Aug. 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Avaneer Health today announced its participation in the HIMSS21 global conference, Aug. 9 – 13, 2021. The company will reveal how its network will accelerate healthcare delivery. Key company executives and founding members from leading healthcare companies are hosting multiple events to demonstrate how a single connection to Avaneer:

Healthcare innovators attending HIMSS21 are invited to learn more about Avaneer Health at booth 3427.

Avaneer Health at HIMSS21: 
At 7:30 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 10, Avaneer Health begins the conference with a breakfast session at the Interoperability Showcase, “Achieving Person-centered Transformation: New Blockchain Business Models in the Age of Anti-Information-Blocking.” Avaneer Health and leaders from The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., Anthem, Cleveland Clinic, Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) and Sentara Healthcare will participate. The panel will explore how blockchain technology can help build novel, person-centered healthcare architecture and inclusive ecosystems of diverse healthcare players while enabling a variety of new business models in the age of healthcare interoperability. Register here to join the session at Caesars Forum Convention Center, room C200. 

At 3:00 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 10, at the Market Debut Theater, Stuart Hanson, Avaneer Health’s CEO, will speak briefly on the vision for the company’s unique, fully interoperable and decentralized network. Avaneer’s network is designed by and for healthcare professionals and expands data access and interoperability. Come to the Interoperability Showcase for the talk. No advance registration required.

At 11:15 a.m., Wednesday Aug. 11, Avaneer Health is sponsoring an informative Lunch and Learn, “Accelerating Care Delivery: How an Inclusive Healthcare Network Removes Barriers Across the Care Continuum.” Avaneer Health will be joined by a diverse panel of industry experts from Anthem, Cleveland Clinic, HCSC, The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., and Sentara Healthcare. The interactive session will highlight the collaboration among leading payers, providers, and other organizations to build a sustainable ecosystem. In addition, the session will demonstrate how the Avaneer technology will reduce friction in the patient experience while resolving administrative and data exchange challenges. Register here to join the session at Caesars Forum Convention Center, Forum 110. 

Meet Avaneer Health CEO, Stuart Hanson
At booth 3427, Stuart Hanson will be sharing his vision for the company and how it aligns with his personal commitment to improve healthcare. Hanson possesses a strong track record of building innovative businesses, teams, and new models in healthcare transactional processing. Members of the press are invited to reserve time with Hanson and learn more about Avaneer Health. See the press contact information below.

Press Contact:
Patrick Pecorelli, 
Carlton PR & Marketing
On behalf of Avaneer Health

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