VC-backed Alacura appoints CEO

Alacura Medical Transportation Management, a transportation benefit management provider for healthcare insurance plans, has appointed Ken Van Cara as CEO. Previously, he was president and COO at Clarus Healthcare. Alacura’s backers include Blue Cross Blue Shield Venture Fund and HCSC Ventures, the venture capital subsidiary of Health Care Service Corporation.


DALLAS, April 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Alacura Medical Transportation Management (the “Company” or “Alacura”), a transportation benefit management provider for healthcare insurance plans, is pleased to announce the appointment of Ken Van Cara as Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Van Cara has extensive experience in providing value-added services to health plans, most recently serving as President and COO of Clarus Healthcare, a provider of palliative care for patients in late senescence.

“Alacura was conceived to deliver a comprehensive suite of high quality logistics services to patients, providers, and health plans on a cost effective value based platform,” said Dennis Casey, Executive Chairman at Alacura. “By investing in the right people to drive our disruptive approach to managing medical transportation spend, we hope to continue delivering an improved patient care experience and significant cost reductions to all stakeholders.”

Founded in 2015, Alacura is the first and only medical transportation management company dedicated to simplifying air and ground transportation for both patients and health insurers. Alacura provides a total benefit management solution where utilization review, network organization, and claims administration meld. Through this multi-pronged approach, the Company is able to provide unique transportation solutions across ground, rotor, and fixed wing transports.

In 2018, Alacura received strategic investments from Blue Cross Blue Shield Venture Fund (“the Blue Venture Fund”) and HCSC Ventures, the venture capital subsidiary of Health Care Service Corporation (“HCSC”).

“When we initially identified the pain points that health plans and patients were experiencing in utilizing medical transportation four years ago, it would have been hard to imagine the impact that Alacura has on the market today,” said Kip Kirkpatrick, Co-CEO at The Vistria Group. “Now, with a visionary leader like Ken joining the team as CEO, we can continue to help bring more efficacious and cost-efficient medical transportation solutions to the market.”

“In the fall of 2018, we had an exciting opportunity to strategically partner with The Vistria Group and HCSC in building an impactful, first-to-market solution in the medical transportation space,” said Matt Downs, Co-CEO & Managing Director at Sandbox Industries, on behalf of the Blue Venture Fund. “With an individual as experienced as Ken now at the helm of the organization, Alacura has taken a meaningful step towards further realizing its vision of optimizing transportation solutions for patients and health plans.”

“Alacura’s initial success in Texas and Illinois is promising evidence of the role that the Company can play in driving savings to health plans, minimizing out of pocket costs for members, and most importantly, providing the best and most appropriate form of transportation to patients,” said Carl McDonald, Treasurer & Finance Division Senior Vice President at HCSC.

Prior to serving as President and COO of Clarus Healthcare, Ken held various leadership roles across healthcare services and managed care organizations such as EviCore, Magellan Health Services, and UnitedHealth Group. Mr. Van Cara received his undergraduate degree from Penn State University.

About Alacura
Alacura Medical Transportation Management, LLC is focused on serving health insurance plans with transportation benefit management services to support patients in need of complex and clinically necessary transportation. Alacura is committed to ensuring health plan members receive cost effective and appropriate transportation services on behalf of their health plan clients. For more information, visit

About HCSC Ventures
HCSC Ventures, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Health Care Service Corporation, is a health care services venture capital firm that invests in early to growth stage businesses that are strategically important to health insurers. The firm seeks to invest in companies and entrepreneurs that have the potential to make an impact on the health care industry by improving quality of care, lowering medical and administrative costs, reducing complexity, and improving the consumer experience.

For more information, visit

About Blue Cross Blue Shield Venture Fund
BCBS Ventures is a corporate venture fund program to which thirty-three BCBS entities have committed over $575 million across three Funds. The Funds invest in promising emerging companies of strategic relevance to Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield Plans and provide access to its portfolio to deploy innovation at scale. Blue Cross Blue Shield Venture Partners is sponsored by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit

About Sandbox Industries
Sandbox Industries is a Chicago-based venture capital firm and startup foundry that builds and grows new businesses internally. Sandbox, founded in 2003, has launched several companies and exclusively manages the BlueCross BlueShield Venture Fund. For more information, visit

About The Vistria Group
The Vistria Group is a Chicago-based private investment firm focused on investing in middle market companies in the healthcare, education, and financial services sectors. Vistria’s team is comprised of highly experienced operating partners and private equity executives with proven track records of working with management teams in building innovative, market-leading companies. For more information, visit