Twentyeight Health Announces $8.3 Million in Funding, Making Healthcare More Accessible to BIPOC and Underserved Communities

When Amy Fan’s family emigrated from Taiwan to Canada in 1996, times were tough and it was hard to find work. However, they found solace in Canada’s universal health care system, which provided them with all the medical care their families needed, from routine vaccinations to urgent medical attention.

After completing her bachelor’s degree, working at Bain’s Canadian headquarters for three years, and moving to the US in 2014 to run a skincare company, Fan fully realized the huge disparities in access to healthcare. When they met Bruno Van Tuykom, who previously worked for the Gates Foundation, they founded the telemedicine company Twentyeight Health in 2018. The company aims to improve access to healthcare for underprivileged communities by providing telemedicine services of the highest standard, making it easier for patients to receive care in the comfort of their homes and enabling seamless coordination of medical care.

“The decision to build Twentyeight Health and turn down the offer to go back to consulting after business school was a big risk for me. It’s a story that resonates with immigrant founders – we often bear the financial burden for our extended families. Fortunately, my family encouraged me to follow my passion: to ensure that all women, especially BIPOC women, and low-income women, have access to quality, dignified and convenient sexual and reproductive health care,” she shared with me. an interview.

The potential of telehealth

While telemedicine has incredible potential to improve health care for everyone, current data from both Rock Health and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine show that in the US it is primarily used by wealthier Americans living in urban areas. Twentyeight Health defies this trend as the first virtual healthcare platform for women that supports the full spectrum of patients, with an emphasis on inclusive care for medically underserved groups, including lower-income individuals and communities of color. It has the distinction of being one of the few telemedicine providers that accept Medicaid and partner with culturally competent physicians. In addition, their platform is available in both English and Spanish (making the platform accessible to over 40 million native Spanish speakers in the US), further supporting their commitment to inclusivity and accessibility. In the past two years, the company has expanded in the US – from six to 34 states and covers more than 85% of women of childbearing age.

The latest funding round (Pre-Series A) is $8.3 million and includes multiple mission-driven funds such as RH Capital, Seae Ventures, Impact Engine, Acumen America, Stardust Equity, Gratitude Railroad, California Health Care Foundation, Penn Medicine-Wharton Fund for Health, and Great Oaks Venture Capital, and strategic angel investors including Andrey Ostrovsky, former Chief Medical Officer of the US Medicaid Program and Elina Onitskansky, former SVP & Head of Strategy at Molina. Many of Twentyeight Health’s previous investors also participated in the round, including SteelSky Ventures, Third Prime, Town Hall Ventures, GingerBread Capital and Algaé Ventures.

To date, Fan, Van Tuykom and their team have helped more than 60,000 individuals access women’s healthcare, and the user base continues to grow every month. Van Tuykom shares how 55% of his users are enrolled in Medicaid, 58% identify as Black, Native or Colored (BIPOC), and 60% live in non-metropolitan areas. “As many as 63% of our contraceptive users did not have access to contraceptive prescriptions before using Twentyeight Health’s services,” adds Van Tuykom.

The endorsement from Andrey Ostrovsky, a former Chief Medical Officer of the US Medicaid Program, highlights the company’s commitment to serving the healthcare needs of low-income people and communities of color. “As a board-certified physician still practicing and with a lot of Medicaid experience, I love how much Twentyeight Health is focused and designed for underserved communities. The focus on expanding access, improving health outcomes and reducing costs is testament to the company’s mission to improve healthcare for all,” said Ostrovsky.

The right to receive birth control

Although the US House of Representatives passed a law in July 2022 guaranteeing the right to contraception, access to sexual and reproductive care is much needed in the United States, where many women face barriers to obtaining contraception. Today, 19 million women of childbearing age in the US need government-funded contraception and live in areas with limited access to it. In addition, low-income women are three times more likely to have an unintended pregnancy, and many doctors are not accepting new Medicaid patients.

The platform offers free birth control to uninsured women in need through a partnership with Bedsider’s Contraceptive Access Fund – an online birth control support network operated by Power to Decide, the campaign to prevent unplanned pregnancy. “In addition, we donate 2% of our income to organizations such as the National Institute of Reproductive Health.”

In the United States, healthcare education is limited, with only 13 states requiring sex education programs to be medically correct. Through customer interviews, Fan learned that many women turn to organizations they trust, such as community organizations, for health information. “So to advance our mission to improve access to reproductive health care, we are excited to announce our plans to expand our partnerships with like-minded nonprofits that share our goal of improving access to care. In addition to expanding our services and footprint, we will also aim to use this new funding to continue improving the quality of our telehealth services,” concludes Fan.

Twentyeight Health Announces $8.3 Million in Funding, Making Healthcare More Accessible to BIPOC and Underserved Communities

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