Palo Alto, Cailf.-based advanced care planning solution developer Vynca has secured $10.3 million in Series B funding from First Trust Capital Partners, OCA Ventures and Spectrum Health Ventures, in addition to other individual investors. Previous Vynca investors such as Generator Ventures and Ziegler LinkAge Longevity Fund also contributed to the sum.
The startup plans to use the funds to expand to new markets and finance development of new products.
“We are currently in 11 states and our goal is to build a nationwide advance care planning network,” Emelia Altschul, director of commercial marketing for Vynca, told Hospice News.
Vynca develops technological solutions to bolster education and engagement in advance care planning conversations, shared decision making, digital completion of documents as well as accessibility of those documents to patients, families and health care providers.
Studies show that advance care planning can reduce hospitalizations by as much as 26%, reduce health care costs, increase community-based palliative care and hospice utilization, as well as significantly increase the likelihood that care will be delivered in accordance with the patient’s wishes.
Despite the benefits of advance care planning, many patients don’t pursue it or pursue it too late. Only 14% of patients with serious illnesses have advance care plans.
“Spectrum Health Ventures supports innovations that can reduce cost, improve quality, and increase patient engagement and satisfaction,” said Scott Lancaster, M.D., clinical director for Spectrum Health Ventures. “We are proud to partner with Vynca, whose impressive growth and innovative platforms are providing national leadership by reflecting patient preferences for end-of-life care.”
Earlier this month, Vynca entered into a new partnership with Ariadne Labs to develop a Serious Illness Conversation Guide, providing a structured framework for advance care plan discussions, including prognosis, illness trajectory, and the patient’s values and personal goals. The guide will be embedded into Vynca’s advance care planning systems. Founded by Atul Gawande, M.D., Ariadne Labs is a research partnership between Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
“We started out focused on POLST, the longstanding treatment form that needs to be signed by a clinician, in most states a [medical doctor] or [doctor of osteopathic medicine], but in some states it’s also a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant,” Altschul told Hospice News. “Our partnership with Ariadne Labs is a great example of how we are making it easier for clinicians and patients to have these important conversations, and then making these documents electronically available to clinicians in all care settings.”