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Press Releases

September 27, 2017

Iris Plans Raises $5.1 Million To Expand Tech And Video-Based Advance Care Planning Nationally

Company will use funds to enhance its technology platform, hire key staff and expand national partnerships with healthcare providers and payers.


Iris Plans, Inc., a technology-enabled service providing Advance Care Planning (ACP) through video for people facing serious medical conditions, announces today the closing of its latest round of funding. This financing round is being led by New York City-based Activate Venture Partners, and Austin-based LiveOak Venture Partners, both of which invest in innovative digital health companies solving some of the most intractable problems in the healthcare industry.   Several other investors, including Oakland-based impact investor Better Ventures, have also joined the round.

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June 6, 2017

Iris Plans And Innovista Health Solutions Form Partnership To Deliver Innovative Advance Care Planning Services

Iris Plans and Innovista Health Solutions (Innovista) today announce a partnership to deliver Iris Plans’ telehealth Advance Care Planning (ACP) services to support Innovista’s physician partners, starting in Texas.

“Our new partnership with Innovista highlights our continued growth as a company, and most important, represents an excellent opportunity for innovation in patient-centered healthcare,” said Steve Wardle, CEO of Iris Plans. “Both companies share common goals of improving the patient experience in healthcare as well as overall health outcomes, while at the same time reducing overall costs and waste in the healthcare system. Our ACP services help Innovista deliver on these goals.

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November 15, 2016

Iris Plans Announces Partnership With University Of Utah Health Plans To Provide Advance Care Planning Across The Intermountain West

Iris Plans, an innovator in Advance Care Planning (ACP) for people with serious medical conditions, has teamed with University of Utah Health Plans (UUHP) to improve quality of care and member experience while lowering cost. “Iris Plans is delighted to launch this partnership with such an innovative partner recognized for its leadership in high quality care,” said Steve Wardle, CEO of Iris Plans. University of Utah Health Care, UUHP’s parent, was recently ranked as the number one health system in the nation for Quality and Accountability by Vizient, after seven years in the top 10 of this prestigious ranking.

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July 18, 2017

Iris Plans And Brookdale Senior Living Put Residents And Families First With Innovative New Partnership

Brookdale Senior Living, the leading operator of senior living communities throughout the United States, offers Iris Plans’ Advance Care Planning services to Brookdale residents


Iris Plans and Brookdale  Senior Living (Brookdale) today announce a new partnership to deliver Iris  Plans’ telehealth Advance Care Planning (ACP) services to Brookdale  residents.

The Advance Care Planning (ACP) services offered through Iris Plans -  services also known as “healthcare planning” - empower Brookdale to  continue and enhance its mission to nurture and improve the lives of its  senior residents and their families. ACP is proven to reduce stress for both  individuals with serious medical conditions, as well as their family and  caregivers, while improving health outcomes.

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March 28, 2017

Iris Plans Wins First Place At Prestigious Vator Splash Health Competition

Iris Plans has been awarded the First Place prize at the 2017 Vator Splash Health competition in San Francisco. The nationally recognized competition invites healthcare innovators to present their cutting-edge technology solutions throughout several rounds of judging.

This year, eight finalists were narrowed from companies around the country to present to a panel of judges at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. Judges were comprised of leaders from the healthcare sector and the nation’s top investment firms. Reinforcing the value of Iris Plans’ solution to provide Advance Care Planning (ACP) with scalable technology, judges awarded Iris Plans the top prize for 2017. 

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September 14, 2016

Iris Plans Receives Venture Backing From Bay Area’s Better Ventures

Funding to Be Used for New Release of Technology Platform and Launch of Major Partnerships

Iris Plans, a tech-enabled Advance Care Planning (ACP) service for people facing serious medical conditions, announced today that Better Ventures has joined the company’s seed financing round. Iris Plans has now raised its original target of $750,000 for this round and will likely increase the size of the round due to additional investor interest.

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Media Coverage

 September 14, 2016 

Iris Plans Brings ACP To Those In Need With Video-Based Tech

The company won first prize at Vator's Splash Health event last month

Unlike like planning for retirement, a child’s education, or a wedding, planning for future healthcare has, until only recently, been pretty rare. Healthcare planning, known clinically as Advance Care Planning (ACP), has been shown to keep patients more in control of their healthcare, often resulting in better care, higher quality of life, reduced stress for the patient and their family, and, in some cases, even longer life.

A recent study showed that nine out of 10 people would be interested in having these discussions if available, yet less than two out of 10 had actually done any healthcare planning. That's where Iris Plans comes in: it tries to make those conversations and decisions smoother and easier for everyone involved.

The winner at the Vator Splash Health, Wellness & Wearables 2017 last month, the company delivers healthcare services via telehealth to people facing serious medical conditions. Iris facilitators meet people with serious medical conditions, along with their family members, through a videoconference platform, provide the education and support people need to create a plan to help guide their most important future healthcare decisions.


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January 5, 2017

Better Ventures Closes $21 Million Fund To Back The Next Tesla Or Patagonia

Oakland-based venture capital firm Better Ventures recently closed its second fund at $21 million according to cofounder and managing director Wes Selke.

The firm was originally founded as an accelerator called Hub Ventures to help social entrepreneurs running so-called “triple bottom line” startups. These companies measure their success not only by revenue and profitability, but also by their products’ quantified, positive social or environmental impact.

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November 28, 2016

Iris Plans Uses Telemedicine To Innovate Delivery Of End-Of-Life Care

Iris Plans is using telemedicine for an often overlooked part of health care: advanced care planning.

Iris recently announced a partnership with the University of Utah Health Plans, and is now providing technology-enabled advanced care planning for about 50,000 members. Iris has created an online office where doctors, nurses, or social workers can advise patients and their families about forming a plan for end-of-life care.

“Towards the end of life, many patients get care that they wouldn’t want if they really understood what it entails,” says Steve Wardle, Iris Plans’ CEO and co-founder. “This [Iris’ solution] puts patients in the driver’s seat and empowers them to be more active in their decision-making.”

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April 18, 2016

Quality Of Life To The End Of Life: A Gerontechnology Tour

...At the Louisville Innovation Summit, I met a palliative care physician and entrepreneur, Dr. Stephen Bekanich, a co-founder and medical director of Iris Plans, a telehealth platform to provide disease-specific ACP services to people with serious chronic illness. Dr. Bekanich shared that he changed the focus of his career to ACP after watching his grandparents (who raised him) go through serious illness. Even as a physician, he didn't "have the knowledge and abilities needed to facilitate these critical discussions."

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March 29, 2017

Healthcare Planning-Focused Start Up Wins 1st Place At 2017 Vator Splash Health

Austin, Texas-based Iris Plans, a company that provides care planning solutions, won first place at the 2017 Vator Splash Health competition in San Francisco on March 23.

Iris Plans, a start up, aims to help people with serious medical conditions stay in control of their healthcare. The company offers secure videoconferencing, connecting patients and their loved ones with an expert who helps them plan their care journey. Through the use of this technology, the company also aims to eliminate unnecessary healthcare delivery.  

The Vator Splash Health is a nationally recognized competition that rewards healthcare innovation and technology solutions.

November 29, 2016

Digital Health Tools Help Patients, Doctors Plan For End-Of-Life Care

Healthcare providers are using mHealth to help patients and their families prepare for the end of their healthcare journey.

Through a secure online platform, providers can meet with patients, family members and caregivers in any location to map out advance care plans. They can bring in specialists and counselors to explain the different paths to end-of-life care, resolve family conflicts, even explain DNR orders.

“Towards the end of life, many patients get care that they wouldn’t want if they really understood what it entails,” Steve Wardle, CEO and co-founder of Iris Plans, a Texas-based developer of online palliative care tools that launched this past March, recently told Xconomy. “This puts patients in the driver’s seat and empowers them to be more active in their decision-making.”

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September 15, 2016

Iris Plans Raises $750k In Seed Funding

Iris Plans, an Austin, Texas-based tech-enabled Advance Care Planning (ACP) service for people facing serious medical conditions, raised $750k in seed funding.

Backers included Better Ventures. In addition to its investment, Better Ventures Co-Founders and Managing Directors Wes Selke and Rick Moss have joined the Iris Plans Board of Advisors.

The company intends to use the funds for new release of technology platform and launch of major partnerships.

Led by Steve Wardle, CEO, Iris Plans provides a service that uses targeted technology and algorithms to allow strategic partners, mainly health insurance plans, to identify patients with serious medical conditions who will most benefit from Advance Care Planning (ACP).

March 30, 2016

This Startup Helps Families Plan When Somone Gets Very Sick

Iris Plans is selling a telehealth connection to palliative care

When my grandparents entered an assisted living center and were in the final years of their lives, it was up to my parents to sit in on conversations about end of life planning. They worked through difficult, but important, discussions about how my grandparents would want to be treated or medicated or resuscitated if and when they couldn't make those decisions for themselves...

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“Planning for my medical care in the future lifted a big burden off my kids. I could see the relief in their faces after we finished the process.”

— JoAnne Dudek, Roanoke, TX