Health-tech startup adds HealthX General Partner Taha Jangda and former Walgreens, Aetna, Anthem executive Brad Fluegel to Board amid rapid industry adoption of first-of-its-kind digital platform for specialty drug enrollment
NEW ALBANY, Ind., June 16, 2021 – RxLightning, a healthcare technology company that simplifies and automates the complex specialty medication enrollment process through a single comprehensive, user-friendly platform, today announced the addition of Brad Fluegel and Taha Jangda to its Board following the closing of a $3 million seed round led by Madison, Wisconsin-based HealthX Ventures, a digital healthcare-focused venture capital firm that invests in innovative companies.
Jangda, general partner at HealthX Ventures, and Fluegel, principal at BMF Advisors, bring a combined 40+ years of experience in healthcare and business leadership, and will lend their deep industry and strategic expertise to help further fuel and manage the company’s growth. The seed round and board additions further drive RxLightning’s recent industry momentum, including selection into Microsoft for Startups, a program designed to help the world’s most promising B2B startups quickly scale, and a recent deal with IllumiCare, a leader in point-of-care technology that offers healthcare providers a streamlined approach to prescribing.
“Since our launch last year, we’ve quickly established that we’re meeting the needs of the market. Now it’s about scaling and growing our user base, and this latest funding round, along with the addition of Brad and Taha to our Board, add fuel to the fire,” said RxLightning founder and CEO Julia Regan. “I was immediately attracted to HealthX based on their portfolio success rate, their philosophy of investing in the founder as much as the company itself, the fact that nearly 40% of their portfolio is made up of female-founded companies.”
Fluegel is the former senior vice president and chief healthcare commercial market development officer for Walgreens, where he also served as chief strategy and business development officer. Before that he was executive vice president and chief strategy and external affairs officer of Anthem and senior vice president of national accounts and vice president, enterprise strategy at Aetna. Fluegel currently serves on the Board of Directors of Metropolitan Jewish Health System in New York City, Performant Financial Corporation, Premera Blue Cross, Alight Solutions and Itamar Medical. He also served on the Board of Fitbit until its sale to Google earlier this year.
“Every now and then a truly disruptive solution comes along that actually fixes something that’s broken in healthcare, and RxLightning is one of those fixes,” Fluegel said. “The potential negative impact on patient care and access to critical therapies, along with the sheer frustration that everyone faces in the specialty drug enrollment experience is unacceptable and needs to stop.”
Founded in January 2020 to transform a highly manual, frustrating and inefficient specialty drug enrollment process, RxLightning offers physicians and patient advocates a free online platform to quickly and easily submit enrollments for patients on any specialty medication to any specialty pharmacy, reducing the time it takes for a patient to get started on a critical medication from 1-4 weeks to just 2-5 days. Left unaddressed, the problems surrounding patient enrollment will only get worse, considering specialty medications (currently a $225 billion market) account for 70% of all new drugs hitting the market.
“Many players in healthcare are attacking the issue of prior authorization for specialty drugs, but we have to go after a much broader problem and get to the root cause,” Jangda said. “That’s what Julia and the RxLightning team are doing. They’re transforming one of the last bastions of paper-based medicine – the initiation of specialty drug therapy. Their vision transforms a cumbersome system rife with inconsistency, into a nearly foolproof one that leverages custom logic and smart-pick menus to capture the right information the first time, every time, saving everyone significant time — namely for patients desperately awaiting treatment.
“We’re literally fighting to give precious time back to doctor’s offices – and against the use of fax machines,” Jangda said. “RxLightning will make the lives of many much easier, and once everyone involved in the enrollment process goes digital, specialty therapy initiation never has to involve fax machines again.”
About RxLightning: Founded in New Albany, Indiana in 2020, RxLightning digitizes, automates and streamlines the historically complicated manual enrollment process of starting a patient on specialty medications. Specialty medications are expected to account for 70% of new medication launches through 2023. With RxLightning, healthcare providers can quickly and easily complete the enrollment process for every specialty medication in every therapeutic area, helping reduce paperwork, streamline communication, and accelerate the speed of therapy for patients. Learn more at rxlightning.com.
About HealthX Ventures: HealthX Ventures is a digital healthcare-focused venture capital firm that invests in innovative companies making healthcare safer, more efficient and more affordable by delivering easy-to-use, cost effective and scalable solutions to the market. Based within miles of Epic Systems’ Madison, Wisconsin headquarters and led by seasoned, successful entrepreneurs and investors, HealthX provides unique value to its portfolio companies through extensive operational support, deep industry knowledge, and executive-level networking. Learn more at healthxventures.com.