Our investment in Reema Health

A text message-based health insurance case management communications platform

We are excited to announce that Matchstick Ventures Fund II has completed an investment in Reema Health. Reema is a text message-based case management communications platform that allows health insurers to better support their vulnerable populations. 


Forces like social bonds, food access, and neighborhood location, known as the social determinants of health (SDoH), account for up to 80 percent of health outcomes, but most insurance solutions don’t really factor them in when it comes to managing care. This harms both insurers and patients.

Insurers and providers often must spend more to effectively reach and retain populations with more pressing SDoH like poverty or substance use disorder. As a result, they are effectively asked to tackle social problems as well as health ones on their balance sheet. This is especially difficult for Medicaid insurers. State governments compensate them on a per-person basis, but the more they spend managing care with communities that need extra engagement, the harder it is for the process to remain financially viable. 

Patients with more difficult SDoH, meanwhile, must crack a U.S. medical and social care system that’s notoriously opaque and confusing. They are often stuck with faceless bureaucracy and forms and notices that are barely comprehensible. As a result, vulnerable people miss out on the care they need—the care they are legally entitled to—and suffer.

The need for SDoH-aware solutions has continued to increase following the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which expanded Medicaid. The same goes for coronavirus, which puts vulnerable people at greater risk and may lead more to seek state-run health plans if they lose their jobs. Finally, many states are increasingly asking health insurers to consider SDoH in requests for proposals.

Companies have attempted to tackle these or related problems, such as CityBlock, which combines in-person and virtual care; mPulse, a medical outreach firm; and Mindstrong, a virtual therapy platform. But so far none has combined the personalized approach of social care with the scalable tech necessary for health care. 

Company Specifics:

Reema Health works with health insurers to offer patients a personalized approach to case management that blends social work and technology, in-person support and text message-based guidance to support them. Patients using Reema connect with specialists who are enabled and encouraged to meet them where they are and solve the barriers to their care.  Reema helps them navigate the care process, connect them with social resources, and seek out follow-up appointments and regular checkups. 

Insurers who use Reema see 29% fewer inpatient hospitalizations, 2.8 times better medication assessment scores, 1.7 times more annual primary care appointments, and 54% patient engagement after 12 months, a significant improvement over standard outcomes. This means more people are getting better care for less money, a win-win.

Reema structures contracts either on a per-engaged-member basis or through risk-bearing arrangements such as shared savings. Their first contract is with UnitedHealthcare’s Wisconsin Medicaid team with plans for a potential expansion.

Reema is a Minneapolis-based company, and we’ve known co-founder Justin Ley for quite some time through the Twin Cities startup ecosystem. Ley, who grew up poor, brings a personal passion to making health care more effective and accessible for everyone, and is joined by co-founders Matt Swanson, who worked with Ley at UnitedHealth Group and Revel Health, and Nate Halverson.

Learn more at:

Ryan Broshar
October 15, 2020