Ribbon Healthcare: When Data Come as Healthcare Infrastructure for The Future

Founded in 2016, Ribbon Healthcare has positioned itself in the market of healthcare as a provider directories and care navigator. Beyond a good son’s desire to ease his mom’s joint pain, this super-nova does cement the healthcare infrastructure with data.
Ribbon health Co-founders collaborate with audience at a meetup event
Courtesy: Ribbon Healthcare
By | 8 min read

In recent years, digital transformation in the healthcare industry has recorded rapid changes with many achievements. With a view to assisting health plans, provider organizations, and digital health businesses close the pricey “doctor data” gap and improve how patients connect with in-network, high-quality care that is tailored to their needs, Ribbon Healthcare was founded in 2016 and inspired by co-founders Nate Fox and Nate Maslak’s personal experiences. Ribbon is consumerizing provider data to create frictionless healthcare experiences for all people.

Founding Story of a Health Tech Company

The story marking the birth of a health tech company began when Nate Maslak, co-founder of Ribbon Health witnessed his mother suffering from joint pain. But instead of seeing a rheumatologist, his mother turned to a back pain doctor. After hours of visits and thousands of dollars spent, her illness remained untreated, leaving her in a difficult financial situation but still unable to get rid of severe pain.

Mother’s illness prompted Nate Maslak, after years of healthcare consulting at McKinsey, he met Nate Fox and was further motivated by Nate Fox’s story, a man who was born unable to hear, but thanks to his family’s efforts, they were able to address the problem in a way quickly, navigate the system and find the right care team and resources. They founded the Ribbon and set out to streamline for all Americans as a result of their common experiences and dedication to solving difficult problems.

At first, the focus was only on solving the problem that Nate Maslak’s mother and many other patients had, but soon they realized the real problem was not in navigation but that is the inaccurate provider data leads to many consequences and is deemed to be the majestic obstacle. The data set they used to power their first venture was a public one, with only 45% accuracy.

Focus Shift and The Company’s Mainstream Products

Ribbon Health CEO speaks at a meetup event in healthcare space
Courtesy: Ribbon Healthcare

By reminding patients of their benefits, directing them to doctors, and making appointment requests, the first version of Ribbon’s software, then known as HealthWiz, was a care navigation platform. The utilization of this function was excellent, Fox recalled.

But when the team attempted to find and schedule that care on the back end, they discovered they were wasting a ton of time combing through false provider information—providers who had moved offices, stopped accepting new patients, stopped practicing, were not in network, and the list went on. They had enormous data.

Hence, they decided to shift their focus on creating the first ever comprehensive infrastructure platform for seeking care using a novel methodology… Ribbon Healthcare. As a result, by utilizing API layer for precise information on healthcare providers, costs, and quality, health tech businesses may instantly connect with Ribbon.

Ribbon Health provides healthcare enterprises with an API layer for accurate data on doctors, insurance plans, and costs & quality of care. From there, the company determined its role and position in the US medical market, and offered 4 solutions that the company implemented to improve the effectiveness of care seeking, including: Provider Directory, Referral Management, Care Navigation and Insurance Enrollment.

API Platform Integration for Any Use Case of Workflow  

Only 48% of medical provider data is reported to be correct, including even the most basic details like address and phone number. Before visiting a clinician, patients’ ability to compare procedure costs is directly impacted by these provider data problems. There is an urgent need for precise information about providers, specialties, and insurance that takes price transparency and quality into account, as one in three patients forgo care owing to cost concerns.

Applications that ensure that other systems can access their data in a consistent and secure manner are known as API-first systems, also referred to as API (Application Programmable Interface) in modern parlance. The best API analogy is a restaurant where the menu is the API, your order is the API call and the food from the kitchen is the response.

The $43.5 million Series B investment in Ribbon Health, an API data platform that drives high-quality, affordable, and convenient care decisions, was announced with involvement from both new and existing investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, BoxGroup, Rock Health, and Sachin Jain.

Through a seamless API layer, Ribbon Health aims to find and give the most precise and thorough information about providers, locations, insurance plans, and the cost and quality of care. Ribbon fulfills its purpose of making it simple for every healthcare decision to be high-quality, cost-effective, and convenient by offering this infrastructure.

The Role of Team Engagement at Ribbon and Beyond

CEO at Ribbon Health in an interview with media
Courtesy: Ribbon Health

“We have company values that we take seriously, and we really lean into. And so, the people here, they will have to solve hard problems. They are highly kind, empathetic and yes, there is many things happening, but it’s a lot of fun, especially when you are building things with people that you enjoy working with.” Fox emphasized.

He also underlined that Ribbon Health’s employees are what really set the business apart. Ribbon’s hiring methodology places equal emphasis on technical talent and values alignment. If you consider yourself to have these values, you should seize the chance to get into the company as all Ribbon’s members work and live in compliance with these shared values.

First off, Ribbon has always encouraged their employees to run towards hard problems. Such businesses had been through difficulties, born thanks to the courage to solve people’s problems and deemed to be solutions. The employees should be the ones who take the baton being passed on by the predecessors and leverage the spirit to be the company’s culture.

Ribbon’s members always put their teams first and live as a unit. When they look out for each other and prioritize each other’s needs over their own, they are all happier and healthier. “Ribbon-ers” do what they say, be honest and straightforward to each other. They are modest. They will all make errors, but they will grow from them and become better people as a result. Practicing the habits of excellence is also one of their key learning points as an employee of Ribbon. For their users, they are creating the finest possible healthcare experience. They make the best choice for people’s lives when faced with a challenging choice.

The Company’s Leapfrog Growth

Ribbon has raised a total of $55 million in funding since its founding in 2016. It is committed to collaborating with healthcare innovators who want to enhance the member or patient’s experience. Ro, Eden Health, Oak Street Health, and PacificSource are just a few of Ribbon’s more than fifty clients.

The company also collaborates with other leaders in the market to improve its platform, such as Turquoise Health, a pioneer in price data. They collaborate with clients to comprehend their difficulties, to smoothly fit into their workflows, and to promote long-term growth.

Ribbon has had tremendous revenue growth within the past year, in part because of new and extended relationships with customers. The expansion of their clientele’s partnership and their high level of product satisfaction can be seen in this increase.

Besides, they expect to more than double the size of their staff by the end of 2021 as a result. By enabling anyone to quickly change data and integrate API platform for any use case or workflow, Ribbon’s platform has an important network effect.

How They’ll Use the Fund from the Last Round of $43.5 Million in Its Series B Financing

The engineering and sales team at Ribbon health
Courtesy: Ribbon Healthcare

Ribbon Healthcare announced their $43.5MM Series B investment round in November 2021 to improve their data platform and expand their reach. General Catalyst is leading the round, with a16z, BoxGroup, Rock Health, and Sachin Jain among the new and returning investors.

The leadership team uses the funds to invest in people and technology for future growth. By securing the fund, the company can expand quickly and add more value for their partners. The company is looking to broaden their network to include provider groups, health plans, and digital health solutions.

By offering insights on network adequacy and design, better provider matching, improved data management, and improved member experience, Ribbon will strengthen health plans’ competitive moat. The development team will continue to improve service delivery, address substantial navigation and referral difficulties, and provide considerable growth for their clients.

In order to eliminate the problem of data inaccuracy, the product team is looking to collaborate with healthcare institutions to build solutions that promote excellent patient outcomes by investing in the distribution and usage of their platform.

Bottom Lines

Ribbon Health offers the most comprehensive, accurate API data platform that is the infrastructure for a future where every patient care decision is convenient, cost-effective, and high-quality. The story behind the company is inspirational that other businesses or entrepreneurs can learn from, which is starting off by solving the problem on our daily basis, striving for better people’s lives and the willpower of helping others.

  • About: Belle Vo
    Join EnvZone as a Section Editor and Analyst, Belle has been passionate about writing and producing insightful stories. She shows her beliefs in the power of writing and desires to bring…