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Three former Livongo executives launch a new health care provider focused on rural communities

The venture is focused on improving access to affordable primary and specialty care in rural communities.
Dr. Jennifer Schneider headshot

Led by Dr. Jennifer Schneider, three former executives of Livongo (part of the virtual health care company Teladoc) have launched a new venture focused on improving access to affordable primary and specialty care in rural communities.

Homeward launched with an initial $20 million investment from General Catalyst and includes key executives from Livongo, including Amar Kendale, Dr. Bimal Shah and Schneider. Homeward will be the first comprehensive provider to take on full risk in rural markets, the company said.

“Homeward was created to provide high-quality and affordable care for people who live in rural communities using a model that is designed to meet their unique needs,” said Schneider, CEO of Homeward. “We believe that by combining easy-to-use technology, evidence-based care delivery, in-home and in-community services, and aligning the care model to the right incentives, we’ll be the first to offer a new approach that provides the high-quality care that everyone deserves—no matter where they live.”

As the company explains, 60 million Americans living in rural communities face a crisis of access to care. As a result, rural Americans experience significantly poorer clinical outcomes and higher costs in the U.S. healthcare system. This trend is rapidly accelerating as rural hospitals close and physician shortages increase, exacerbating health disparities. “Americans living in rural communities suffer a mortality rate 23% higher than those in urban communities, in part because of the lack of access to quality care,” Homeward said.

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homeward mobile clinic

As a physician and business leader, Dr. Schneider has focused her career on finding innovative solutions to some of the healthcare system’s most challenging problems. In her most recent role, she shepherded Livongo as president through its growth stage, IPO and subsequent $18.5 billion merger, the company added.

The funding was led by General Catalyst, whose health assurance thesis aims to transform the delivery of health care and champion health access and equity for people everywhere. Homeward is the first investment in General Catalyst’s new $800 million Creation fund, which focuses on collaborating with executives to create and build new businesses in the firm’s core areas of interest.

“One of the core tenets of health assurance is health equity, and serving our rural communities is an urgent imperative for us,” said Hemant Taneja, General Catalyst’s managing partner. “We feel privileged to be working with the incredible Homeward team that deeply cares about this mission.”

The company said Homeward will deliver a new, hybrid model of technology and services that will increase access to primary care and specialty services, beginning with cardiology. The company employs a multidisciplinary care team, available both virtually and on the ground via mobile care units, with in-home remote monitoring that keeps patients connected to their care team. Rather than rely on broadband in these markets, Homeward will employ cellular-based monitoring devices and virtual services to better connect to even the most remote members.

[Read more: Innovations and unique opportunities]

Homeward also has announced a partnership with Priority Health to deliver care in Michigan and a partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota to deliver care in Minnesota. 

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