HC9 presents an interview series with portfolio company leaders.  We’re interested in how they are solving health care’s biggest problems, what drove them to start a company, and why they chose to work with HC9. 

Richard Lungen (Founder and General Partner, HC9 Ventures)

Today we are joined by Justin Ley, co-founder and CEO at Reema. Justin welcome, thanks for being here. When did you become CEO of Reema and can you explain how the company has developed since then?

Justin Ley (Reema):

It’s great to be here, thank you. Four years ago, I founded Reema with a vision of bridging the gap between healthcare and social needs. Today, Reema accomplishes this by deploying local Community Guides to help the hardest to reach and most expensive members navigate resources, develop skills, and improve health literacy.

Richard Lungen

Why did you found Reema and what is the gap in healthcare and/or problem you want to solve in healthcare?

Justin Ley

Growing up, I saw my single mom struggle to pay rent, find a job, and access healthcare. Luckily, we had extended family to rely on, but the experience shaped me: what would have happened if someone hadn’t been there to support us?

This personal experience, coupled with my observations working within the healthcare system, revealed a stark reality: the very systems designed to help people are riddled with inefficiencies and biases, leaving the most vulnerable even further behind.

That’s the genesis of Reema. It’s not just another program; it’s a bridge—a connection that links individuals to the social safety nets already woven into their communities. It’s about ensuring everyone has access to the support they deserve.

Richard Lungen

How does Reema address that gap?

Juston Ley

We don’t wait for people who are unengaged in care and struggling to find us, we find them. And once we find them, our first step is to gain their trust.

This is why we hire Community Guides who are deeply embedded in the communities we serve. Their firsthand understanding of local history, challenges, and community dynamics enables them to establish authentic relationships of trust with members. Once trust is established, our Community Guides empower individuals to navigate available resources and cultivate self-sufficiency.

Richard Lungen

What is Reema’s unique approach & differentiators (i.e. technology, proprietary assets, leadership team, etc.)?

Justin Ley

Reema uniquely combines human connection and technology to improve the health of members.

The people we help are not only the most complex, expensive, and marginalized Medicaid, Medicare, and Duals members; they’re also the hardest to reach.  Reema is the market leader at finding these people, engaging them, and building their trust.

We are successful because we know a one-size-fits-all approach will fail. Instead, we use a blend of in-person and virtual care solutions so each member receives the care they need when and how they need it.

Those solutions are built with our Relationship Engine, which uses algorithms first to identify which members to prioritize (based on risk factors) and then to develop personalized outreach sequences so members are contacted at the right time, with the right message, and via the right channel. Those algorithms also learn and adapt, enabling Community Guide feedback to continuously refine our machine learning models.

Finally, our unique value based pricing model makes it easy for health plans to work with us to serve the members who really need us.

Richard Lungen

What is ahead for Reema in 2024 as well as long-term?

Justin Ley

Through our journey, we’ve found that individuals facing physical and social challenges often struggle to get adequate behavioral health care. Navigating the complex process of connecting members with behavioral healthcare specialists proved to be both lengthy and frustrating. As a result, in 2024 we are expanding our service offering to include behavioral healthcare. By offering both a standalone Community Guide program and an integrated Community Guide plus Behavioral Healthcare program, Reema is strengthening health plan partnerships and making a meaningful impact in the lives of those we serve.

Richard Lungen

Why HC9?

Justin Ley

We chose HC9 Ventures as our partner because they share our commitment to revolutionizing how healthcare is delivered. Their track record of building transformative companies and driving innovation, combined with their extensive network within the U.S. healthcare system, made them an ideal fit for Reema Health. With HC9 Ventures, we’re confident in our ability to accelerate our mission and improve the whole health of Medicaid and dual eligible members.

About Reema:
Reema Health is transforming how people navigate the gaps between health care and social care using technology and Community Guides who share identity with the members we serve. Reema’s approach improves healthcare experiences, leading to higher member engagement and healthier lives. Because all members deserve access to better health. For more information visit ReemaHealth.com.