Today: Jul 20, 2024

Healthcare startup secures $2.3M with upfront price prediction promise

7 months ago

Key Points:

  • Certainly Health, a healthcare startup enabling predictive upfront pricing, has raised $2.3 million in a funding round led by Pacific 8 Ventures and Y-Combinator.
  • The startup uses AI and machine learning to estimate out-of-pocket costs for non-urgent medical services, and guarantees the cost estimate for patients who book their appointments via the marketplace.

Certainly Health is seeking to alleviate the financial uncertainty that often deters Americans from seeking medical care. With nearly 38% of people in the US reportedly delaying medical appointments due to fear of unexpected bills, certainly aims to ensure transparency in pricing. The company’s recent $2.3 million funding round involved major investors such as Pacific 8 Ventures, Y-Combinator, and other institutional and individual contributors, marking it’s first round of investment.

Certainly Health utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning to estimate out-of-pocket costs for “shoppable” healthcare services, usually non-emergency services that patients can plan, compare, and schedule in advance. What sets the startup apart from similar ventures is its cost estimate guarantee – if a patient books an appointment via Certainly and the final bill exceeds the initial estimate, Certainly will cover the cost difference. This approach does bring financial risk to the company, especially if it miscalculates the costs and has to pay the difference. However, CEO Kevin Chiu remains confident that the company’s machine learning models can effectively mitigate this risk as they process more bookings and learn from any errors in their predictions.

Unlike other cash-pay healthcare marketplaces that bypass insurance, Certainly aims to work with people who have health insurance, estimating only their share of the total cost. Simplifying insurance and pricing without compromising on the quality of care is a key focus for the company.

Finally, the company, which has started its operations in New York City, plans to expand further. Chiu’s intention is to create a successful business model in an area dense with healthcare providers before venturing into different markets. Certainly Health charges providers a booking fee when new patients register, but the service is free for the consumers.