American College of Gastroenterology and American Gastroenterological Association Invest in Oshi Health to Accelerate Adoption of Hybrid Digestive Health Care
Strategic investments mark novel endorsement of whole-person multidisciplinary hybrid care model for digestive health by two premier GI medical associations
Portland, OR – AHIP 2023 CONFERENCE – June 13, 2023 – Oshi Health today announced strategic investments by the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) and the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) GI Opportunity Fund. The landmark support of both gastroenterology (GI) associations signals the importance of evidence-based, multidisciplinary care delivered through hybrid collaborative models to address the urgent and growing problem of limited access to digestive healthcare in America.
This unique collaboration between Oshi Health and both leading gastroenterology specialty medical associations charts a faster scalable course for GI practices to provide dietary and behavioral health interventions as recommended by guidelines, in a high-touch, iterative care delivery model that is proven to improve outcomes and is ideally suited for virtual delivery. As part of the arrangement, both the ACG and AGA have made strategic financial investments in Oshi Health as an illustration of the importance of providing patients access to the evidence-based, multidisciplinary care offered by Oshi.
“This is a tipping point for a modern, proven approach to digestive health in America,” said William D. Chey, MD, AGAF, FACG, Chief of Gastroenterology & Hepatology at the University of Michigan Medical School and Treasurer of the ACG. “As an organization, ACG aims to empower gastroenterologists to embrace the science supporting new guidelines and how to integrate them into clinical practice. ACG’s backing of Oshi’s evidenced-based approach is testament to the College’s commitment to excellence in clinical innovation and world class care delivery that benefits patients and practices alike.”
“As the trusted voice of the GI community, AGA has had a long commitment to pushing forward innovation for the benefit of gastroenterologists and our patients. We believe this partnership could serve as a meaningful inflection point for our industry,” said John M. Carethers, MD, AGAF, FACG, Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences at the University of California, San Diego and immediate past President of the AGA. “The AGA GI Opportunity Fund’s investment in Oshi Health is intended to improve the lives of digestive health patients by improving their access to multidisciplinary care while also reducing the burden on brick-and-mortar practices.”
Evidence for Hybrid Whole-Person GI Care
Evidence from both the ACG and the AGA demonstrates that a whole-person, multidisciplinary GI care model – including dietary changes, psychological interventions, and behavioral health support – is highly effective in mitigating symptoms for many digestive health sufferers and is best able to give patients back control of their lives.
A recent prospective clinical trial evaluating Oshi Health’s integrated approach showed that patients reported 98% satisfaction with the virtual multidisciplinary care program, 89% improvement in quality of life, and 92% reported symptom improvement. Patients also reported 1.3 fewer missed workdays per month and demonstrated lower healthcare utilization including a 64% reduction in GI-related emergency department visits.
This whole-person, iterative multidisciplinary GI care model is challenging for community GI practices to deliver at scale because GI-specialized dietitians and behavioral health providers are in short supply in most geographies due to historical lack of reimbursement. In partnering with Oshi Health, GI practices are immediately able to get patients the care recommended by ACG and AGA guidelines, extending their practice with a team of specialized providers who can deliver high-frequency visits that may not always be feasible today in traditional gastroenterology practices.
America Has a Problem Accessing GI Care
Digestive health issues cover a wide-ranging set of symptoms and conditions that affect 1 in 4 working age adults in America and drive more than $135 billion in annual healthcare costs – more than diabetes or heart disease. Its impact is likely far greater as millions more go undiagnosed and indirect costs such as reduced workplace productivity are difficult to measure.
Lack of access to multidisciplinary care and support between traditional GI care visits can result in poor patient outcomes and avoidable emergency services. With better analytics, the true nature of prolonged and avoidable suffering comes into view, attributed to the diverse nature of these conditions and symptoms, the stigma often attached to them, and gaps in access to viable treatment plans that bring sustained relief.
“The structure of today’s healthcare system has created significant challenges for practicing gastroenterologists. Reimbursement challenges, operating costs, and patient expectations for between-visit care continue to distract us from the patient sitting in front of us. Despite these challenges, gastroenterologists are pushing through every day to take care of their patients. This model is not sustainable for the wellbeing of our specialty,” said Sameer K. Berry, MD, MBA, a practicing community gastroenterologist and Chief Medical Officer at Oshi Health. “We are excited to partner with the ACG and AGA as nationally and globally recognized societies advocating on behalf of practicing GI clinicians and scientists to scale evidenced-based integrated care more broadly. Together, we can bring relief to the millions of people who struggle with their digestive health.”
The strategic investing round also includes investment by Scott R. Ketover, MD, AGAF, FASGE, President of MNGI Digestive Health and Chair of Health Policy at the Digestive Health Physicians Association (DHPA), the largest association representing independent GI practices.
“The data is undeniable and finding ways to bring integrated care through frequent touch points to more people is the aim of every gastroenterologist,” said Dr. Ketover. “Embracing proven approaches like Oshi Health unlocks this puzzle, enabling practices to help more people find relief faster in a way that’s covered by insurance and enhances their own operations and businesses.”
In April 2023, Oshi Health announced the close of $30M in Series B funding. These new strategic investors join Oshi’s prestigious list of existing investors, including Koch Disruptive Technologies (KDT), Bessemer Venture Partners, Flare Capital Partners, Frist Cressey Ventures, CVS Health Ventures, and Takeda Digital Ventures.
About Oshi Health
Oshi Health is a completely redesigned digestive health care experience that transforms access to care, the patient experience, clinical outcomes and healthcare economics. In a high-touch virtual care delivery model, Oshi Health provides diagnosis and integrated care for digestive conditions and empowers people to achieve lasting control of their symptoms. Launched in 2020, Oshi Health works with innovative employers, health insurance partners, health systems and community GI practices to scale access to multidisciplinary care, reduce healthcare costs, and improve the lives of millions of Americans with chronic gastrointestinal diseases. For more information, visit www.oshihealth.com.