Silicon Valley invests $20M in Arizona’s Apricus Health

Virgo Investment Group (“Virgo”) today announced an investment in Apricus Health, an innovative healthcare company created by a group of prominent Arizona physicians.  This partnership aligns with Virgo’s focus on strategically expanding its portfolio within the health and wellness sectors.

Apricus Health was founded with the goal of transitioning healthcare practices to a value-based care model. The Apricus Health Network of primary care and specialty providers has been growing rapidly and now includes over 590 practitioners and 63 provider groups in 220 locations across Maricopa, Pinal, Coconino, and Yavapai, Arizona counties. Comprehensive services include in-office visits, telehealth, personal care navigators, remote patient monitoring and free home delivery of medications. Patients have access to quality healthcare 24/7, and the ability to choose when and how they receive care.

“We believe the time has come for the healthcare industry to accelerate its adoption of the next wave of innovation such as telehealth, care navigation and connected care technology in a value-based setting to improve healthcare access and the patient experience,” said Pooja Goel, managing director overseeing the healthcare portfolio at Virgo Investment Group. “Apricus Health integrates innovative technology alongside high-touch service to improve healthcare outcomes and we expect to see the company continue to grow across Arizona and beyond.”

Apricus Health has a special focus on Senior Health Management and has developed a unique care model where each senior is assigned a dedicated team which includes a care navigator to help them traverse the complexity of healthcare and address their social determinants of health. Patients with chronic conditions are given remote monitoring devices and enrolled in a proactive chronic care management program, leading to improved outcomes and lower hospitalizations and healthcare spending.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) recently awarded Apricus Health approval to operate a Direct Contracting Entity (DCE), a cutting-edge value-based care model that adds Benefit Enhancements and Benefit Engagement incentives for Medicare patients. Implementation is underway now and full operations start April 1, 2021. Apricus Health plans to extend its participation in DCE programs in other states in 2022.

“The demand for convenient care either at home or near home that’s focused on managing chronic conditions and keeping patients healthy is growing across the country,” said Dr. Kishlay Anand, president and founder of Apricus Health. “Our partnership with Virgo provides us with the opportunity to further expand this care model to additional communities in Arizona and across the U.S.”

Virgo Investment Group Announces $20 Million Investment in Apricus Health

January 19, 2021
3 Min Read

Virgo Investment Group (“Virgo”) today announced an investment in Apricus Health, an innovative healthcare company created by a group of prominent Arizona physicians.  This partnership aligns with Virgo’s focus on strategically expanding its portfolio within the health and wellness sectors.

Apricus Health was founded with the goal of transitioning healthcare practices to a value-based care model. The Apricus Health Network of primary care and specialty providers has been growing rapidly and now includes over 590 practitioners and 63 provider groups in 220 locations across Maricopa, Pinal, Coconino, and Yavapai, Arizona counties. Comprehensive services include in-office visits, telehealth, personal care navigators, remote patient monitoring and free home delivery of medications. Patients have access to quality healthcare 24/7, and the ability to choose when and how they receive care.

“We believe the time has come for the healthcare industry to accelerate its adoption of the next wave of innovation such as telehealth, care navigation and connected care technology in a value-based setting to improve healthcare access and the patient experience,” said Pooja Goel, managing director overseeing the healthcare portfolio at Virgo Investment Group. “Apricus Health integrates innovative technology alongside high-touch service to improve healthcare outcomes and we expect to see the company continue to grow across Arizona and beyond.”

Apricus Health has a special focus on Senior Health Management and has developed a unique care model where each senior is assigned a dedicated team which includes a care navigator to help them traverse the complexity of healthcare and address their social determinants of health. Patients with chronic conditions are given remote monitoring devices and enrolled in a proactive chronic care management program, leading to improved outcomes and lower hospitalizations and healthcare spending.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) recently awarded Apricus Health approval to operate a Direct Contracting Entity (DCE), a cutting-edge value-based care model that adds Benefit Enhancements and Benefit Engagement incentives for Medicare patients. Implementation is underway now and full operations start April 1, 2021. Apricus Health plans to extend its participation in DCE programs in other states in 2022.

“The demand for convenient care either at home or near home that’s focused on managing chronic conditions and keeping patients healthy is growing across the country,” said Dr. Kishlay Anand, president and founder of Apricus Health. “Our partnership with Virgo provides us with the opportunity to further expand this care model to additional communities in Arizona and across the U.S.”

About Virgo Investment Group

Founded in 2009, Virgo is a private investment firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area that has an established track record of building and transforming businesses. Virgo seeks to identify and grow unique business models into differentiated and profitable industry leading companies.  Virgo focuses on two distinct strategies – creating, building and scaling asset-based/credit businesses, and executing transformative growth equity investments in Founder-led or Family-owned companies. The Firm has raised over $1.8 billion and completed 43 investments to date.  For more information, please visit www.virgo-llc.com.

About Apricus Health

Created by Arizona physicians, Apricus Health is an innovative healthcare company providing members a direct one-on-one relationship with healthcare providers and care navigators who are accessible from any location to diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions. Through robust technology, 24/7 care management and real time analytics, Apricus Health is changing the care delivery model, helping physicians who work in value-based care environments improve care outcomes while reducing health costs. For more information, visit https://apricushealth.com/.

Scottsdale Health Care Startup Locks in $20M in New Funding

By Andy Blye  – Reporter, Phoenix Business Journal

Apricus Health, a health care company based in Scottsdale, has secured $20 million in new funding from San Francisco’s Virgo Investment Group.

Apricus provides a platform for doctors, including primary care physicians and specialists, to connect virtually with patients 24/7. The company was founded in December 2019 by a collection of Arizona doctors and aims to drive down health care costs by reorienting how patients access treatment.

The Apricus network now has over 590 practitioners in 220 locations across the state, including in Maricopa, Pinal, Coconino and Yavapai counties.

In an interview, Dr. Kishlay Anand, president and founder of Apricus Health, told the Business Journal that physicians need to be actively involved in improving our health care system through new care models.

“We need to really take a leadership role to transform health care. If we take a backseat, that’s not right for the community, as well as for health care.”

Apricus want to enable the shift away from episodic care — only visiting the doctor when things are really bad — to a more proactive form of medicine, which reduces costs and burden on the system. Anand described the shift as, “promoting health and wellness instead of promoting sickness.”

Apricus decided to partner with Virgo because of the firm’s breadth of health care experience and knowledge, Anand said. Talks began in October 2020 and the deal closed last week.

Anand is also the CEO of Akos, a telehealth platform for virtual care management, which raised $1 million to launch in 2017. He described Akos and its technology as a backbone for Apricus.

A key difference is that Akos is used nationally, but Apricus and its $20 million investment are focused entirely on expanding access to and quality of health care in Arizona.

This funding comes as Covid-19 accelerates the adoption of telehealth care across the country.

“The last year has highlighted a wide range of areas where health care delivery is ripe for innovation,” according to a statement from Joan Koerber-Walker, president and CEO of the Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio).

“Technology alone is not the answer. Successful innovations must combine technology with a human touch in order to meet the needs of the users in a way that is embraced by the patient and efficient and effective for the caregivers,” she said. “When you have the right combination, everyone wins.”

Anand still practices as a cardiologist and he said that working during the pandemic has helped keep him focused on the patients.

“If the leadership is not ingrained and has an understanding of the fabric of care delivery that is not grounded, then the solutions are not attuned to the population,” he said. “Being a practicing physician allowed me to be able to understand this fabric and really create a solution.”

Phoenix Business Journal’s Angela Gonzales contributed to this report.