Cedar, an innovative patient engagement and financial technology platform, has closed $200M in Series D financing, bringing total funding to more than $350M. According to the announcement, Cedar will use the new capital to continue meeting skyrocketing demand for the exceptional, patient-centric digital health experiences provided through its platform. Tiger Global Management led this round, alongside existing investors Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Thrive Capital, and Concord Health Partners. Cedar’s valuation now stands at $3.2B. We will also highlight two key findings from the recently released 2020 Healthcare Consumer Study commissioned by Cedar and managed by Forrester Consulting.
Cedar – Exceeding Consumer Expectations
Technology is empowering consumers to take control of their health. In the era of digital technology, consumerism in healthcare means patients demand the same kind of seamless digital experience they get when dealing with other service-oriented industries. In the five years leading up to 2020, the adoption of digital health steadily climbed. The pandemic accelerated adoption even further, and the rise continued. The pandemic also forced health systems and providers to prioritize upgrading digital touchpoints, including telemedicine and pre-visit check-in, to remote patient monitoring.
Since launching in 2016, Cedar has experienced significant growth resulting from its industry-leading levels of patient satisfaction, digital engagement, and bill resolution, now engaging with more than 300,000 patients a day, according to the announcement. And while healthcare providers typically see a 30% rise in patient payments, Cedar also helps nearly 3-in-4 health system patients who interact with its platform avoid collections by providing clarity into healthcare costs and pathways to affordability, all while maintaining an 88% patient satisfaction score.
For Cedar, COVID-19 accelerated the demand for its product, with the company quadrupling its business throughout 2020. Using the energy from the company’s Series C in June 2020, this new round of funding will equip Cedar to continue collaboration with its development partners and build out more patient engagement use cases, including additional pre-visit functionality and tools that provide more pathways to affordability and actionable price transparency, with the ultimate goal of delivering better experiences and outcomes for both patients and providers. In addition to its impressive and rapid success, the funding further positions Cedar to capture the market and establish itself as the leading comprehensive healthcare consumer engagement platform. Cedar now partners with more than 35 healthcare providers across the United States, including Yale New Haven Health (YNHHS), Summit CityMD, Novant Health, and ChristianaCare.
Cedar has emerged as the market-leading, technology-enabled platform helping patients resolve their medical bills in ways that are easier and more relevant, resulting in improved financials for healthcare providers. We are very excited to back Florian and the team as they continue to optimize patient-centric financial engagement in healthcare.Scott Shleifer, Tiger Global Management
The Worst Part of the Healthcare Experience
Health systems are under tremendous pressure to provide convenient access to care for patients while tightly managing operational costs. At the same time, over the past decade, patients (consumers) have taken a more active role in educating themselves and directly managing their health. And with more than 80 percent of consumers now researching their healthcare options, new technologies provide consumers new ways to engage in healthy living and manage certain conditions.
In the 2020 Healthcare Consumer Study commissioned by Cedar and managed by Forrester Consulting, it was clear that consumers demand a streamlined and convenient end-to-end patient journey. The study found that with the onset of COVID-19 restrictions, 40% more patients switched providers over a poor digital experience, and almost 50% wish their digital health experience were more intuitive. In turn, the pandemic forced health systems and providers to prioritize upgrading digital experiences, including telemedicine and pre-visit check-in, to remote patient monitoring. Providers are looking for partners to help them deliver top-notch patient experiences and turning to platforms that prioritize the end-to-end patient journey, including the financial expertise. Cedar’s core platform provides a modern consumer experience through thoughtful workflows and empathetic design.
Cedar’s 2020 Healthcare Consumer Study highlighted two crucial moments in the patient journey that need to be improved to meet consumer expectations: pre-visit and post-visit. As mentioned throughout this article, the number of consumers using digital tools has skyrocketed over the past year. Cedar’s consumer study found that text message use alone grew by over 200%, while patient portal usage saw a 34% increase and email usage 82%. While the increased adoption numbers look nice, 25% of consumers report that these tools haven’t improved the pre-visit experience. For post-visits, consumers prefer digital payment options for payment flexibility and bill clarity. Patient portals may be an easy win for health care providers. Consumers see portals as the best way to improve the healthcare experience over the next five years. With that, 60% of consumers would choose to make a digital payment through a portal.
The Future of Healthcare – Cedar’s Vision
In the last decade, we have changed the model of care by virtualizing medicine, where it makes clinical and economic sense. Despite the advances in virtual care brought on by COVID-19, providers still have a long way to go to meet consumer expectations and preferences. For Cedar, modernizing and humanizing the patient journey should be of the utmost importance.
Having patients play an active role in their health gives them more necessity, encouraging feelings of empowerment when it comes to making healthy decisions, and reaching out to the healthcare team with questions and concerns. The most efficient way for providers to get their patients involved and drive adoption is to engage with them often and enable them with information about adherence and the value of prevention. Whatever technologies or tools are adopted, a mix of digital and the human touch will result in much easier implementation and adoption.
Cedar is a healthcare financial engagement platform for hospitals, health systems, and medical groups that clarifies and simplifies patients’ financial experience, improving bill resolution and payment outcomes for providers. Recently recognized as a leading solution provider in the patient financial experience space by KLAS Research, Cedar facilitates patient-centric financial engagement across the care journey.