Qliance Medical, the Seattle health services startup backed by venture capitalist Nick Hanauer; Zillow Chairman Rich Barton; comedian Drew Carey; Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos; and others, has raised $8.6 million in venture capital financing, GeekWire has learned.
Total funding in Qliance now stands at $27.6 million, with the 50-person company possibly raising a little more cash as part of the new round in the coming months.
This time, the deal is being led by a powerhouse in the regional health care industry, adding some weight to Qliance’s subscription-based health care offering. (Qliance offers primary care service for $64 to $129 per month, operating outside the traditional insurance reimbursement system).
That’s part of what makes Qliance’s new investor so interesting. Cambia Health Solutions operates health insurance plans under the Blue Cross and Blue Shield brands, including Regence.
Qliance CEO Erika Bliss said they’ve not yet worked out the details of how they will work with Cambia Health. But she said both parties are looking forward to see “how things fit together.”
“They feel like what we are doing suports their overall goal of trying to improve the health care system of Washington and some of the other states that they are active in,” Bliss said. “They feel that the direct practice model is a step toward that.”
The new funding comes on the heels of Qliance opening a new medical center in Expedia’s building in downtown Bellevue on Wednesday, the first time that it has allied with a corporate partner.
Bliss said that the new clinic represents a new model since it is set up to both serve the needs of Expedia employees as well as the general public.
“We are reaching out to companies that may not be big enough to have their own on-site clinic or they may not want to have their own on-site clinic that they are responsible for financially,” said Bliss. “This is a new innovation in the market that may be useful to a lot of mid to large-sized companies … which are looking to change the way their employees seek health care and really getting them primary care early and often.”
Bliss said that they’ve been in talks with other corporations about similar on-site clinics. Qliance operates five clinics in the Puget Sound region, and is expecting to expand out-of-state by the end of the year.
“We will go wherever the numbers are. If there’s enough critical mass, then we will build a clinic wherever it is that (people) need us,” she said.
UPDATE: Cambia offered this statement on the backing of Qliance.
“Our investment in Qliance supports Cambia’s vision for a more economically sustainable healthcare system. They have demonstrated an ability to deliver a high quality patient experience through a comprehensive primary care model that departs from fee-for-service reimbursement, and which is showing compelling emerging cost reduction data in the Puget Sound region,” said Rob Coppedge, senior vice president of Strategic Investment and Corporate Development for Cambia Health Solutions. “The market needs innovation like this, and we are glad to be in a position to help build this company and bring their service to the Regence health plan member community, as well as employers and patients nationwide. ”