Heritage leads telehealth venture funding round

Two others invest alongside local firm in Florida company

Local investment firm Heritage Group has joined two others to pump $23.6 million into a telehealth services venture that is also being backed by former Apple and Pepsi CEO John Sculley.

Heritage, which manages a $167 million pool of money on behalf of a number of big care providers including Community Health Systems and LifePoint Hospitals, is the lead investor in the funding for MDLive, which was founded in 2006 and is based in Florida. Also investing are the large Sutter Health system in California and alternative investment manager Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors.

“We are excited to be MDLIVE’s new strategic partner,” said Rock Morphis, managing director of Heritage. “We look forward to working with the company to expand its already robust offerings and to help build a full service cloud-based healthcare system, making it easier than ever for patients to get access to healthcare on the go.”

MDLive employs physicians and therapists to offer care via voice, video, email and mobile devices and is looking to fill a gap that's been created by the growing shortage of primary care physicians. Company executives say they will use the funding to build out their system in the cloud and to integrate a program that provides second opinions. The company last month signed a contract to provide second opinions to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

“This new funding affirms the industry imperative to broaden the availability of telehealth and to expand on the millions of lives whose access to care we have positively impacted to date,” said Randy Parker, CEO of MDLive.