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Brooklyn Health Co Raises $65M for Technology to Help Low Income Patients



Cityblock calls itself a “tech-driven provider for communities with complex needs.” Photo Credit: Fierce Healthcare

The Brooklyn-based health company whose stated mission is to use technology on behalf of low-income patients with complex medical conditions, was founded in 2017. Its initial location was in Crown Heights, and partnered with EmblemHealth’s AdvantageCare Physicians.

Cityblock calls itself a “tech-driven provider for communities with complex needs.” The startup “partners with community health organizations to deliver primary care, behavioral health and social services to Medicaid and low-income Medicare recipients,” notes “The backbone of its model is a software platform called Commons that links Cityblocks’ partners and care providers.”

The company is also doing business now in Waterbury, Conn., working in concert with EmblemHealth’s ConnectiCare. Executives plan to expand into North Carolina by the end of 2019 by working with Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

“The startup uses its technology platform, Commons, to facilitate communication among health team members who provide medical, behavioral and social services to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in underserved neighborhoods,” reported Crain’s New York Business. “Patients’ care teams are made up of doctors, nurses, mental health providers and community health workers trained in coaching and managing chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension.”

In an announcement made on the web site Iyah Romm, CEO and co-founder explained that he launched Cityblock a year and a half ago “with the aim of building the first tech-driven provider for communities with complex needs. Today we bring radically better care to neighborhoods where the healthcare system has let people down — delivering care for medical and behavioral health needs, and the social challenges people face day-to-day. We believed we could achieve this by bridging technology with trusting, person-to-person relationships, in a manner designed to support providers and empower people to have a role in their own care.”

“Existing care delivery models simply don’t work for many in lower-income communities. As a result, many people in these communities get stuck in a cycle of emergency room visits and hospital stays,” said Elliot Geidt of Redpoint, who is a member of the company’s Board of Directors about the decision to invest in Cityblock. “Iyah, Toyin, Bay, and the Cityblock team are building an entirely new way of providing care for this large and previously underserved population.”

Cityblock now has about 180 employees, including health care providers, engineers and data scientists, and said it serves thousands of members, Crain’s reports. “It was spun out of Sidewalk Labs, the urban-focused innovation arm of Google’s parent company Alphabet that is led by former Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff. Sidewalk Labs participated in the Series B round along with existing investors Joshua Kushner’s Thrive Capital, Maverick Ventures, Town Hall Ventures and EmblemHealth.”


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