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Scouting Report-League: An Integrated Employee Benefits Platform

The Driver:

League recently raised $95 million in a series C funding round led by TDM Growth Partners with participation from Workday Ventures and other unnamed existing investors to scale its consumer-centric healthcare navigation platform. Founded in 2014, League is a medical platform technology company powering next-generation healthcare consumer experiences which has now raised a total of $205M. Through League’s platform, companies ranging from health insurance to medical organizations can create digital patient experiences. These experiences would let patients access telemedicine, personal medical records, and other services. The platform is HIPAA compliant, making it viable for medical use. According to the company, which is based in Toronto and has a presence in Chicago, the new capital will be used to scale the platform.

Key Takeaways:

  • Payers, providers, consumer health partners, and employers build on League’s platform to deliver high-engagement, personalized healthcare experiences for consumers

  • League claims its integrated platform creates engagement loops and drives habitual behaviors with customers, resulting in a 12x industry engagement rate and over an 80%-member enrollment rate

  • The digital transformation of the healthcare consumer experience will benefit employers by helping to ensure employees quickly get the services and support that they need.

  • The creation of a single comprehensive, personalized health platform has the potential to result in a much smoother experience for patients hopefully promoting better engagement, improved preventative care to a reduction in costs

The Story:

League was founded by successful startup founder and investor, Michael Serbinis, who was most recently the CEO of digital reading company Kobo, which was sold to Rakuten. According to an interview in TechCrunch the genesis of League followed a discussion with pharmaceutical entrepreneur and billionaire, Patrick Soon-Shiong, the inventor of Abraxane. In the interview, Serbinis noted that Soon-Shiong “told him that the healthcare system needed to be fixed by someone outside of the industry who was able to take a fresh, consumer-driven approach”. Serbinis added that “most people think about healthcare through the lens of health insurance, i.e., can I do it, can I afford it...the more I learned the more I realized how broken [the system] is.” League’s platform acts as a centralized operating system for employee health benefits. League uses Google Cloud’s healthcare application programming interface to connect a patient’s health information from electronic health records, claims, and wearable devices for an all-in-one consumer healthcare platform. For Payers, League’s digital infrastructure creates an experience that improves engagement by giving members a front door to their programs and services while for Providers, it offers patients the digital experience they’ve come to expect in their everyday lives: easy, seamless, and tailored to their needs.

The Differentiators:

According to the company, League’s platform harnesses data from electronic health records (EHRs), claims, health and wellness devices, and third-party partners to deliver deeply personalized digital health experiences and create a cohesive, omnichannel experience for the consumer. As noted by Deloitte (and reproduced on the company’s website), “League leverages contemporary technology architectures that support rapid integration, API connectivity and interoperability across different digital point solutions.” League uses FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) as the data model to support the integration of healthcare data on their platform and to model data that is generated by members as they interact with the platform as it seeks to build an integrated solution for customers and consumers and move them away from point solutions.

For example, as patients complete health assessments and pulse checks within their product, their responses are directly mapped to the QuestionnaireResponse resource in FHIR. League claims its integrated platform creates engagement loops and drives habitual behaviors with customers, resulting in a 12x industry engagement rate and over an 80%-member enrollment rate. League notes that it is regularly audited to make sure it complies with security, availability, and confidentiality requirements for managing patient data. League is available to both providers and payers. While there are similar companies proactively venturing into the digitized market for healthcare, League stands firm on its belief that its engagement-focused and consumer-centric platform may be unique in its attempt to close the gaps in care and drive better outcomes all while lowering employee health costs.

The Big Picture:

League is seeking to move employee benefits from a series of point solutions to an integrated, easy to use, and navigate platform. As noted on their website, employee “benefits are a fragmented ecosystem of expensive point solutions that are difficult for HR leaders to manage, and close to impossible for employees to navigate.” For example, a recent article in the Wall Street Journal noted that the average employee benefits package has anywhere from 16–20-point solution apps that employees must navigate, adding to the complexity of the benefits experience and decreasing engagement. Through League’s platform, companies ranging from health insurers to consumer health companies can create seamless digital patient experiences on a single platform with a single interface. In the words of League CEO Serbinis, “League’s PaaS offering is positioned as the de facto digital infrastructure to build comprehensive healthcare consumer experiences. Providers, payers, consumer health partners, and employers use League’s platform to build unique and differentiated applications that transform healthcare from a patchwork of disparate point solutions to a cohesive experience that just works”. As the digital tools become more prevalent in healthcare and consumers take a more active role in managing their own health, employers will have to ensure that their benefits keep pace with changes in work habits (especially the move to remote work) and desires for greater convenience and navigation. Integrating new tools and technology will play a crucial role as employee benefits programs evolve to meet the needs of workers, many of whom may not actually work in the same physical office or space.


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