Uber of Nurse Staffing IntelyCare Raises $14M

Uber of Nurse Staffing IntelyCare Raises $14M

IntelyCare, an intelligent workforce management solution for post-acute healthcare facilities, raised $10.8M Series A investment, in November 2018. This round takes the total funding secured by the startup to $14M. Much of this capital will be channelled towards bringing more nurses and healthcare facilities into the company’s system, improving its reach and expanding on the scheduling platform features.

IntelyCare sets itself apart from traditional staffing firms by having a strong understanding of local markets. And this differentiator, according to the brand, is what helps it scale much quicker.

“You can assume that in the next year and a half, we’ll be in all the major markets across the country,” said David Coppins, co-founder and CEO of IntelyCare to Skilled Nursing News. The startup plans to add 9 to 10 more states this year.

The Pill for a Severe Case of Nurse Burnout

As such, growing in size and reach is critical for IntelyCare as it seeks to battle the nurse shortage in the US. Urgency is further amplified by the increasing demand for geriatric care driven by ageing Baby Boomers. In fact, 1.2 million+ registered nurse vacancies are expected to crop up by 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Thus, overworked nurses are forced to take on double shifts and work weekends, leading to high burnout and turnover.

Boston-based Intelycare helps administrators and schedulers at healthcare facilities solve this workforce shortage by helping fill their daily schedule with qualified nurses. As a testimony of its success, the company claims the count of nurses and facilities that it works with has doubled in 2018. It currently serves 200 skilled nursing facilities, rehabs, and assisted living facilities with thousands of nurses and has 60+ individuals in its employ.

But when IntelyCare first started off in January 2015, it was but a homecare business. Soon enough, co-founders Chris Caulfield, a registered nurse, and a techie Ike Nnah realized that the opportunity to address the market’s major needs with a tech-enabled solution. And so, in late 2016, along with David Coppins (former President of Operations at Virgin Pulse) and Prince Nnah (erstwhile founder Beehive Management Group), they started building a healthcare staffing platform.

In August 2017, IntelyCare secured $3M in debt financing and other securities to further improve the nurse availability in the healthcare industry.

IntelyCare – Making Nurse Staffing Work

These funds were poured into building up the staffing solution with its wide range of special features, that elevate the industry’s benchmarks by offering an 85+% fill rate for staffing requests.

Noteworthy is the fact that all nurses are screened thoroughly by the app-based solution. Also much like the rating system on Uber, healthcare facilities get to rate the nurses on a scale of 1 to 5 and vice versa. Based on such feedback, IntelyCare is able to better match the right type of nurse with the right facility.

Automated billing, as IntelyCare’s geofencing feature, tracks the timings of nurses check in and out of their shifts.  It also offers an online dashboard, with real-time workforce insights and downloadable profiles that is useful for auditing purposes.

What’s more, the company has a ground-level understanding of the intricacies of nurse and facility thanks to its intelligent matching and pricing engine. So, it is able to provide a seamless staffing solution with minimal manual involvement. Requests need to be placed just 6 hours in advance for shits to be filled in. Also, IntelyCare advanced predictive analytics, using machine learning, helps forecast vacancies in shifts weeks in advance. And according to an interview on Bloomberg, this machine learning-based feature offers up to 70% accuracy in scheduling when a  traditional agency will only be able to fill about 20-25%.

“The staffing shortage is a real challenge, and better allocation of nursing professionals – which can be done by giving them more freedom and flexibility to work where and when they want – needs to be part of the solution,” said Coppins to in a statement. “As a  company that brings nursing professionals and healthcare facilities together to align their mutual interests, IntelyCare is a true partner for both sides that can ease administrative burdens, create a better work-life balance and, ultimately, improve patient care.”

Getting Nurses Better Pay

On the other hand, IntelyCare also ensures that there is better money in moonlighting for nurses.

Where, traditionally, a flat rate is offered to nurses; IntelyCare ensures that their wages vary according to the ease or difficulty of filling a shift. This dynamic pricing system ensures that those to opt for the dreaded night shifts and weekend shifts get rewarded handsomely. Prices also vary basis factors including time of day, the employee’s experience and skillset, and the rating of a particular facility.

“The client needs to be able to budget and count on a certain degree of revenue,” Coppins said to Skilled Nursing News. “But what we pay the nurses and CNAs out there — each particular opportunity for them to go to work — is priced dynamically by our machine-learning algorithms.”

Also, the startup considers 600,000+ observations, including past behavior, time or day of a shift, medical specialities and certifications, and geography, to match nurses with the shifts they’re more likely to accept. Then, these nursing practitioners are granted the freedom and flexibility to decide their working hours, by choosing from the available shift options, based on their convenience.  

Additionally, according to an interview with DHIS, Coppins said that IntelyCare wishes to treat all nurses that associate with it as W2 employee. Thus, they are offered benefits including works compensation and professional liability insurance that freelancers do not usually receive.

Together, these features incentivize more nurses to use the app frequently. This explains why the company claims that nurses who use IntelyCare view the app five times a day.

Future of Healthcare Staffing

Currently, IntelyCare focuses on the market segment that is most in need – post-acute care facilities. But it aims to expand to new sections of the market in the future, though they are yet to share a timeline for the same. It does plan to double its presence beyond Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Ohio in 2019. Within the next 5 years, IntelyCare hopes to be a nationwide phenomenon – in helping deliver better healthcare.

As of now, according to an interview on Bloomberg radio, IntelyCare is not yet profitable. But Coppins believes that this situation will certainly change in 2019.

IntelyCare started off at a time when tech was a novelty in the healthcare industry. Today, there is the imminent threat of competition from large staffing agencies such as AMN and Cross Country – who are beginning to realize the role tech plays.

The temporary staffing market in healthcare is a $17B business according to the Staffing Industry Analyst. To make a real difference in the industry IntelyCare needs to become a leader and enabler in the space. Thus, the startup has set its sights on working with nursing programs to encourage more newly trained nurses to the industry.

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