While service providers such as hotels and restaurants were severely debilitated by the pandemic shutdown, others thrived. One such example is Reimagine Care, a Nashville-based in-home cancer care enabler. It’s taken cancer care from the clinic to patients' living rooms.

Aaron Gerber, co-founder and former CEO of Reimagine Care, says the scope of what can be done for patients has greatly changed with tremendous advancements over the last two and half decades. What had not changed was how that care was delivered. 

“Our approach to delivering that care has not fundamentally changed and it remains burdensome on patients and on their caregivers,” Gerber says.

Gerber says he and Devin Carty, CEO of Martin Ventures, have been discussing over the last decade how they could change this by moving oncology care to the home.

“However, while it was possible a decade ago, it wasn't very feasible,” Gerber says.

Then came COVID.

“Things have changed,” Gerber says. “Patients and providers have become much more comfortable with virtual care. We are treating higher-acuity patients in the home through hospital-at-home models and there has been significant advancement in value-based oncology models, which help align the incentives necessary to shift care out of the hospital or clinic and into the home.”

To make it all happen, a significant amount of capital had to be raised. They would eventually close their Series A on New Year’s Eve, 2020.

“With an initial commitment from Martin Ventures and Santé Ventures — and Santé was the lead — we worked to raise $17 million of the $25 million in our Series A. LRVHealth, out of Boston, and Sable, which does a lot of co-investing with Martin Ventures, participated as well. And then throughout 2021, we raised an additional $8 million to round out our Series A,” Gerber says.

With the capital in place, Gerber then had to find a way to make a smooth transition from the clinical care to in-home care.

“There's both the clinical and financial aspects of being able to do this successfully,” Gerber says. “On the clinical side, if you understand which drugs can be delivered safely at home, If you have the appropriate staff — nurses in particular — if you have the right supporting technology, this can be done safely and effectively. One of the bigger challenges is really the financial model. Today, hospital systems make significant amounts of money through the delivery of oncology care in the hospital or their affiliated clinics in. So, in order to shift the delivery of that care from the hospital to the home, you have to align the financial incentives in a way that will be a win for the hospital, obviously a win for the patients, and a win for the organization — the payer, or the risk-bearing entity who's paying for that care. Getting the right alignment of incentives and a model to support that has been one of the bigger challenges in making this shift happen at scale.”

Gerber spoke on the Smart Business Dealmakers Podcast about the success of raising capital and the satisfaction of helping oncology patients in their own homes.