Aspire Health raises more capital

Frist-backed venture looks to build national network

Update: Aspire Health has landed $5.5 million in funding, according to a filing with the SEC. All of the company's existing investors participated in this most recent fundraising round.

The palliative care venture launched a year ago by Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Dr. Bill Frist has secured another round of funding to fuel its growth plans.

Aspire Health employs doctors, nurse practitioners and nurses to provide a high level of medical care to patients with cancer, heart failure and other serious illnesses, often at home. At this point, the company's website says it does business only in Middle Tennessee but is looking to build care networks in other cities around the country.

Word of the company's new funding was reported earlier this week by Dow Jones VentureWire and comes about 11 months after the company said it had raised $1 million from a dozen investors. VentureWire reported that BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners led the round.

Calls this week to Aspire CEO Brad Smith to inquire about the size and scope of his team's raise were not returned. Smith previously ran the state's LaunchTN initiative aimed at stimulating start-up activity.