Thyme Care Secures ‘Milestone’ Investment from Echo, CVS Health Ventures

Nashville-headquartered Thyme Care recently secured an investment from Echo Health Ventures and CVS Health Ventures (NYSE: CVS) to scale its value-based oncology care model. The dollar amount was undisclosed.

CVS and Echo’s investment adds weight to Thyme Care’s $60 million funding round secured last year to grow its health services for cancer patients. Through the investment, Thyme Care will expand its value-based care care model through contracts with health plans, oncologists and risk-bearing health care providers

The interest signals growing recognition for improved reimbursement and quality outcomes among cancer patients as their illnesses progress, according to Dr. Brad Diephuis, president and COO at Thyme Care. Diephuis previously served as an advisor for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI).


“The investment from Echo and CVS is a milestone moment for Thyme Care driven by our commitment to working with partners dedicated to rethinking how we deliver and pay for cancer care,” Diephuis said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to welcome them to the team, and we look forward to leveraging their deep industry insights.”

Thyme Care is a value-based oncology provider with a team of nurses and care professionals that support patients and families navigating cancer and serious illness. The company’s $60 million funding round last year was in part an aim to strengthen support of palliative care and programs to address social determinants, among other initiatives.

Through payer agreements, the company embeds patient-centered care resources within oncology settings. These resources include technology platforms that provide 24/7 access to patient navigation services, operational support and data reporting capabilities, among other services. Thyme Care’s services are available across 31 states to more than 500,000 people at participating health plans, risk-bearing providers and government-sponsored entities.


CVS Health owns the insurance giant Aetna. The company’s investment in Thyme Care is not the first in its strategic value-based deals. CVS Health in 2022 purchased value-based care enablement company Signify Health (NYSE: SGFY) for a total transaction value of $8 billion. Signify concentrates on care in the home, including home health and palliative care. CVS at the time indicated that the transaction laid the foundation for further expansion.

The company sees the Thyme Care investment as crucial to improving oncology services and patient experiences, according to Alyssa Reisner, lead director and principal at CVS Health Ventures. Reisner will step onto Thyme Care’s board observers with the capital infusion completion.

“Through our ongoing work at CVS Health Ventures, we’ve pinpointed a critical need to find organizations who can empower health care providers, without creating abrasion to their existing efforts, while effectively lowering costs and providing high-value patient care,” Reisner said. “Thyme Care’s provider-driven approach is a powerful catalyst in enabling oncologists to navigate the shift to alternative payment models, fostering patient trust and elevating the role of the provider while driving significant cost savings throughout the care continuum. We’re dedicated to supporting Thyme Care’s growth by lending our strategic expertise as the company expands nationally.”

A main reason that CVS and Echo joined Thyme Care’s funding round was because of growing recognition around a lack of scalable solutions designed to address “urgent and unmet needs” in fragmented cancer care delivery, according to the company statement. The company’s oncology model allows more payers and providers to participate in value-based arrangements that can help inform future reimbursement models.

Cancer has been among the leading causes of death among Americans for more than 75 years, reported the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Cancer patients have some of the most complex health trajectories and often have a diverse range of medical and nonmedical needs.

The costs of uncovered cancer patient and caregiver needs is weighing heavily on families nationwide, according to Kurt Sheline, partner at Echo Health Ventures. Sheline will join Thyme Care’s board observers with the capital infusion completion.

“We believe Thyme Care’s member-centric and provider-integrated approach is unique and has the potential to transform this status quo toward a value-based future that aligns incentives to improve outcomes and lower costs,” Sheline said in the statement.

Echo is part of a strategic collaboration between Cambia Health Solutions, Mosaic Health Solutions, USAble Corporation and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. The venture capital and private equity company’s portfolio includes Avalon Healthcare Solutions, Curation Health and pediatric provider Cortica Care, among other health care, pharmaceutical and technology companies.

Rising health care delivery costs also have providers and payers alike facing financial challenges, Sheline indicated.

“Cancer care today is challenging for everyone involved,” Sheline said. “Patients and families are forced to navigate a complex and frightening care journey, while providers struggle to offer personalized care in a rapidly evolving and often heterogeneous case mix, and health plans grapple with skyrocketing costs.”

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