Investors Bolster Value-Based Autism Care Model

Oct. 5, 2023
Cortica says it was founded to fix the fragmented care journey families typically experience when seeking diagnoses and treatments for autism

Cortica, a San Diego-based startup focused on autism care, has raised $115 million in a Series D funding round. The company said the funding would support its continued national scaling of whole-child autism value-based care, as well as deeper investments in technology, data capture, clinical decision support, research, and optimization of the clinician and patient experience.

The funding round was led by CVS Health Ventures, in conjunction with LRVHealth, Ascension Investment Management (a subsidiary of Ascension), and the University of Wisconsin Foundation.

The company, which has four whole-child value-based care contracts with several more in the pipeline, says it was founded to fix the fragmented care journey families typically experience when seeking diagnoses and treatments. Cortica says its whole-child, whole-family, value-based care model for autism spans medical treatment, neurodiversity-affirming behavioral therapy, developmental therapy (encompassing speech, occupational, physical, and music therapies), and family support and counseling.

Founded in 2017, Cortica adds that its care model has shown improved outcomes across conditions that frequently co-occur with autism, including sleep disorders, seizures, psychiatric comorbidities, and gastrointestinal, communication, behavioral, and sensorimotor issues, among others – while utilizing less than 50 percent of standard applied behavioral analysis volumes, limiting the use of antipsychotic and stimulant medications, and reducing emergency department and inpatient admissions.

"There is an increasing need for access to evidence-based care for children with neurodivergent conditions and autism, and we believe that Cortica is well positioned to help support our members and their dependents by deploying an integrated, medical and behavioral care model," said Justin Brock, partner at CVS Health Ventures, in a statement. "Through our investment and collaboration with Cortica, we believe that we can help improve the overall quality of care for individuals with autism, as well as provide support to their caregivers."

"With 1 in 36 children in the United States now affected with autism, and that prevalence continually climbing, partnerships between the field's most innovative clinicians, strategic investors, health plans, and health systems are essential to defragment the traditional care model and evolve the reimbursement paradigm. We can no longer wait.” Said Neil Hattangadi, M.D., co-founder and CEO of Cortica, in a statement. “Collectively, we're in a position to solve one of the most pressing challenges confronting humanity."