Pager raises $14M for app-based, doctor house call service

By Aditi Pai
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PagerNew York City-based Pager, which offers an app consumers can use to request in-person physician house calls, raised $14 million from New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Sound Ventures, which was founded by Ashton Kutcher. Existing investors Goodwater Capital, Lux Capital, and Montage Ventures also participated.

This brings the company's total funding to $24 million to date, it confirmed to MobiHealthNews in an email. Pager raised its last round just a few months ago.

The company also announced that it now has two Chief Medical Officers: Aran Ron and Rick Boxer, who was the CMO for Teladoc at one time, joined Pager in March 2014. Importantly, but perhaps not surprisingly, Boxer will focus on boosting the company's telehealth efforts. Like Boxer, Ron isn't a new addition to Pager, he's been mentioned as an affiliate of the company since late 2013.

Correction: Aran Ron is not a full-time CMO at Pager. Through his consulting business he serves in various roles at healthcare companies on a part-time basis, including at Oscar Health Insurance, where he is also still the CMO. A previous version of this article incorrectly indicated he had left Oscar.

Pager, which launched in May 2014, is one of many startups to have called itself an “Uber for doctors”, but it may have a greater claim to that label than others: One of the company’s founders, Oscar Salazar, was also on Uber’s founding team. 

Consumers can use the app to schedule an appointment with a doctor, who will meet them at their home, office, or hotel room. The service costs $50 for the first "urgent care" visit and $200 for each visit after that. The visit includes on-site testing, treatments, surgical sutures, and first-dosage of most prescriptions, though it does not include x-rays, lab tests, or a physical. Consumers can order a physical separately for $100. It includes any paperwork needed for office, school or camp approval as well as screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose.

If the condition turns out to be treatable over the phone, customers are only charged $25. Otherwise, the price is fixed, no matter what treatment the patient ends up needing. Users can get reimbursed for Pager as an out-of-network provider, and the company is working on becoming an in-network provider under some plans.

While Pager is currently available in just New York City, the company plans to use the funds to expand into San Francisco and Los Angeles next.