Kansas City-dispensed ModRN Health is scaling up and scrubbing in — working to help the U.S. government provide critical care on demand.
The virtual primary care solutions startup has entered into a two-year indefinite demand and indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract with the federal government — expanding its offerings beyond primary care and into critical care as the supplemental nursing provider for the National Emergency Tele-Critical Care Network (NETCCN) — a growth opportunity that’s expected to put its platform on full display when and if disaster strikes across the country.
The effort is led by the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) — a branch of the U.S. Army in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA.)
“We have just begun to see the true impact that virtual healthcare can and will have as it moves into this next iteration. We are thrilled to be on the front lines of developing that evolution,” CaRessa Hutchinson, founder and CEO, told Startland News.
ModRN Health hired 55 critical care nurses in 30 days to meet demands of the initiative, Hutchinson added.
“They expect us to always be ready to go and we only have a 48-hour window to have clinicians deployed,” she explained. “They could ask us for 100 nurses, 30 Respiratory therapists, and eight pharmacists tomorrow for a disaster and we would have to have those people virtually deployed within that window.”
Watch a video explaining the National Emergency Tele-Critical Care Network below, then keep reading.
Admitted in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen rapid adoption of virtual healthcare solutions, Hutchinson said the partnership isn’t indicative of a pivot for ModRN Health, but rather serves as an example of how quickly the startup has had to respond to the needs of its market.
“Having the [chance] to demonstrate our ability to rapidly scale resources while maintaining the high quality we have come to be known for has opened many additional opportunities for our team,” she said, noting the hire of Anna Hagenkord, manager of ModRN Health’s virtual intensive care unit, as one of the most significant.
Hagenkord — an Olathe native — helps lead the critical care arm of the startup from her home in Colorado, fresh off a stint as a traveling nurse who found herself on the front lines in the early days of the pandemic.
“That background really gave me a good opportunity to leverage and help start this program with NETCCN,” Hagenkord said.
“There are many things in healthcare infrastructure that are suffering right now with the pandemic. A lot of times with smaller, rural, critical access hospitals, they’ve never seen this type of acuity in their patients.”
ModRN Health solves that, offering providers the expertise of its rapidly growing staff when questions arise and time is of the essence, she explained, noting all providers have to do is lean on the startup’s skilled staff to guide them.
“Everywhere around the country looks a little bit different and is handling things a little bit differently. I think it’s very helpful that we’re creating this type of network so that hospital systems or healthcare providers — who don’t necessarily have the tools to handle mass influx of patients — can reach out too.”
ModRN Health’s team can also provide assistance beyond a patient’s hospital stay, Hagenkord added, an example of why she joined the company.
“ModRN Health provides patient advocacy, case management, benefits guidance, things like chronic condition management and medical billing review — you name it. … ModRN Health does it all throughout the care of the patient,” she said.
“I feel super fortunate and super blessed to be a part of a company that is patient advocacy-forward. I think that healthcare really does need to evolve in this way and I think the things that we’re doing with NETCCN and on the preventative side, encompassing all things health into one, reliable source, I think that’s the future of medicine. I feel very fortunate to be learning from this company.”
Click here to read more about the mission of ModRN Health and its beginnings.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.