Milwaukee-based startup Sift Healthcare recently raised $2.5 million in debt funding from 16 investors, according to a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The startup has raised $7 million to date.
Sift Healthcare has grown during the COVID-19 pandemic as dropping revenues, margins and new admissions in hospitals force health care providers to find new ways to protect their revenue.
The startup developed technology that uses artificial intelligence to analyze health care payments. With these insights, health care providers can predict a patient’s propensity to pay and the optimal bill amount to provide patients based on their ability to pay.
The rising interest in health care payment analytics has led Sift Healthcare to knab new contracts with major health systems and revenue cycle management agencies, which are the company’s primary clients, said Bethany Grabher, Sift Healthcare vice president of marketing.
“Hospital margins are incredibly thin. Technology that helps (health systems) protect their revenue, better negotiate with insurance companies and work with patients provides meaningful improvements for them,” Grabher said.
A report commissioned by the American Hospital Association found that hospitals could lose between $53 billion and $122 billion in revenue this year because of the pandemic.
Experts say hospitals will lose revenue in 2021, but those revenue loss totals will depend on a hospital’s ability to recoup pre-pandemic patient volumes, vaccine supply and distribution, and the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, according to data from KaufmanHall.
The latest round of funding will allow Sift Healthcare to build its data analytics and data engineering teams, Grabher said. The startup entered 2020 with a team of 16 and has since hired 8 more employees.
Sift Healthcare expects to grow even more during the second half of 2021 and has plans to hire 6 more employees by the end of the year, Grabher said.
Sift Healthcare was founded in 2013 by chief executive officer Justin Nicols. The company was previously known as Sift Medical Data, Inc. and before that, it was known as Small Biz Collections LLC and Remindabill Inc.