AristaMD and Sitka Form Single Company, Secure Series C of $16.5M for the Expansion of Specialty Care Access via Electronic and Video Consultation Services

By November 14, 2023 December 16th, 2023 News

AristaMD, a digital healthcare company specializing in eConsults and referral management services, today announced it has joined forces with Sitka, a video-consult specialist network supporting value-based care providers, and the close of its latest financing to help expand cost-effective and timely specialty care.

Sitka customers will benefit from referral nurse navigation and access to referral management services. AristaMD will leverage Sitka’s established virtual specialty provider group, Sitka Medical Associates, and video consults to enhance its eConsult services. With one of the largest virtual specialist networks, the combined company will simplify access to specialty care for patients with Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurance coverage across care settings and care delivery models.

“To succeed in value-based care, an industry-wide strategy to improve population health and reduce total healthcare cost, providers must utilize tools to match patients with care in the most appropriate setting,” said Brooke LeVasseur, CEO of AristaMD. “Primary care providers prioritize digital health solutions, like ours, that alleviate the expense and time associated with referring patients for a face-to-face specialist appointment. With the addition of Sitka’s service offering and provider group, AristaMD will now offer more ways for primary care providers to expand their scope of services, work at the top of their license and improve patient access.”

The solutions offered by AristaMD and Sitka facilitate provider enablement, care coordination and navigation, and timely access to care. These solutions support organizations in their quality measures, including Medicare Star Ratings. AristaMD and Sitka partners report that digital health consults improve patients’ ability to get timely access to care, which is critical to Medicare Star Ratings.

“Together, we are untangling the economic incentives and bottlenecks that prevent patients from obtaining timely and cost-effective care,” said Kelsey Mellard, founder and former CEO of Sitka and the new president of AristaMD. “PCPs are often at risk for the cost of care but have no visibility to what happens when they refer a patient. Patients may not make it to the appointment at all, or the appointment could take place 6–8 weeks after the PCP referral. These challenges inflate costs as patients turn to costly care settings, like the ER, or experience worsened outcomes due to delayed or lack of specialist guidance.”

“With timely diagnosis and treatment available through eConsults and vConsults, PCPs can deliver care without delay to improve health outcomes and patient experience,” said Dr. Julia Jezmir, Chief Medical Officer, AristaMD. “Together, we will expand care pathways, promote health equity and deliver accessible care for patients. These efforts are particularly important as Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers roll out more robust value-based payment models that prioritize patient outcomes and rein in healthcare spending.”

AristaMD referral nurse navigators, a team of registered nurses that curate eConsults on behalf of PCPs, and Sitka’s referral coordination team will provide complementary skills to reduce provider burden and support accessible care. The combined company’s joint software platforms lay a foundation to build comprehensive specialty services and expand offerings that improve efficiency and simplify the eConsult and vConsult request process.

“I am thrilled to join forces with a team of talented professionals motivated to improve healthcare delivery,” said LeVasseur. “We look forward to the evolution of our service offering. Our customers will benefit from state-of-the-art technology, increased functionality and the innovation of the combined entities.”

MTS Health Partners, L.P. acted as the exclusive financial advisor, and Fenwick & West LLP acted as legal counsel to Sitka in connection with the transaction.