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Category: Health Tech

Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 241| Papa, Sword, Trevueta, Trusted Health, Ieso, and Talkspace

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, Jess and I talk about fundraising efforts this past week, as well as leadership issues within Talkspace. Papa raises 150 million dollars, bringing their total to 240 million. Sword raises 189 million dollars, with a secondary of 26 million dollars, bringing their total to 320 million dollars. Trevueta raises 105 million, and Trusted Health raises 149 million dollars. Ieso raises 57 million dollars. Talkspace had no growth in their third quarter, and their founding team left the company while their COO resigns after a review of conduct at a company offsite event. -Matthew Holt

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THCB Spotlights: Maya Said, CEO, Outcomes4Me

Today on THCB Spotlights, Matthew Holt talks with Maya Said, the CEO of Outcomes4Me, which works in the cancer patient empowerment space. Outcomes4Me is a patient empowerment platform that helps patients diagnosed or in active treatment for breast cancer understand their situation and treatment options, as well as connect better with providers to enable meaningful shared decision making. Maya tells us about the goals of Outcomes4Me, the current needs for enabling value-based care, and what the future directions are for Outcomes4Me, which recently closed a $12 million Series A round led by Northpond.

THCB Spotlights: Lindsay Jurist-Rosner, Wellthy

Today on THCB Spotlight, Matthew sits down with Wellthy’s CEO Lindsay Jurist-Rosner to talk about the healthcare system’s need to support caregivers. Wellthy works in the caregiving space, and Lindsay tells us about the company’s mission to provide a software and platform experience that offers organization and structure to support those who are caring for a loved one. Lindsay also talks to us about her personal inspiration for starting Wellthy and how their business model operates. Wellthy has raised $50 million in total and has closed up $35 million this summer.

THCB Spotlights: Chris Gervais, CTO of Kyruus

Today on THCB Spotlight, Matthew talks with Chris Gervais, the CTO of Kyruus, which began in the world of fixing scheduling for hospital systems. Chris talks more about their recent acquisition of HealthSparq in the last year and what this acquisition means for the future of Kyruus and the audience it serves. Kyruus’ original concept was having good rich accurate and complete provider data. Ultimately, the aim is to build out a rich provider directory spanning a large number of the US provider population, as well as all these other care options for patients to find, that builds transparency and trust.

Rumor Check with Vida Health’s CEO: Buyer Sentiment on Virtual Care, At-Risk Models, Mental Health

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF Health

To hear Vida Health’s CEO Stephanie Tilenius talk about what she’s hearing from payers, providers, and employers about at-risk value-based models, the shift to virtual care, and the growing importance of mental health services as a culture-builder for businesses forced into a part-virtual-part-in-office world, you get a sense of how her past work leading the various payments and commerce businesses of Google, eBay, and PayPal probably comes in handy. For example, the shift to virtual care, she says, is, “like the Internet in 1999…It’s happening.”

We get an update on exactly how Vida Health is making it happen themselves, and how they expect their newly expanded at-risk model will help. Vida’s always been fees-at-risk on physical outcomes related to diabetes management, hypertension, etc. BUT the mental health side of their offering (which experienced 6000% growth year-over-year during the pandemic) is now at-risk on outcomes too. With so much happening across the industry to move to value-based models, we deep-dive with Stephanie to hear what she’s hearing from her clients, including client-and-investor Centene and hear about growth in the employer market where she sees a major shift in how employers are thinking about healthcare as the new sexy job perk. “Instead of snacks or transportation or other benefits,” says Stephanie. “It’s all about healthcare.”

THCB Gang Episode 72, Nov 18 1pm PT – 4pm ET

Following last week’s sojourn in Europe where I couldn’t quite pull an impromptu European-based THCB Gang together, we are back on home turf. Join me at 1pm PT – 4pm ET Thursday 18th November when I’ll host delivery & tech expert Vince Kuraitis (@VinceKuraitis), the double trouble of vaunted futurists Ian Morrison (@seccurve) & Jeff Goldsmith, and Consumer advocate & CEO of AdaRose, Lygeia Ricciardi (@Lygeia).

The video is below and if you’d rather listen, the “audio only” version it is preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels a day or so after the episode — Matthew Holt

How Unhappy are Patients with Info Coming from Providers, Payers? Pega’s Survey Shows It’s Not Good

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Is this a big surprise? Even during Covid, Pega’s annual 2,000-person Patient Engagement Survey shows that 63% of patients are unhappy with the communication they receive from their payers and providers. Which begs the question… just how bad was it before? (Answer: 86% unhappy– yikes!)

Pega’s VP of Healthcare & Life Sciences, Kelli Bravo, has run this survey three years and counting and drops in to share the highlights (if we can really call them that) of the survey results and how she thinks enterprising young health tech startups can capitalize on the opportunity to help.

For those in the business of trying to talk to patients — which is all of us — let’s look at this as a wake-up call. Let’s stop speaking “health care” and start using language everyone can understand about their care, what it will cost, and what all the options really are. Pega is attempting to do its part in that department, and we get an update on how they’re fairing at helping to make healthcare feel more like retail. The rise of the healthcare consumer is a real thing. Now, with new data to back up claims about what they’re demanding in terms of how they prefer to be talked to and communicated with.

Click to see the data and report on Pega’s site.

WTF Health: Transcarent, Walmart & The “Re-making” of Healthcare Payers: Glen Tullman on the Power of Big Retail

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Days after announcing their deal with Walmart, Transcarent’s Executive Chairman & CEO Glen Tullman and meet again (in-person!) to pick up our conversation right where it left off. For the details about the deal, see our last interview; for what the deal signifies for the disruption of the healthcare payer and the ultimate rise of the healthcare consumer, tune in now and take note.

The plot of Transcarent’s story is starting to take shape. Their conflict is with the “big middle” of healthcare where drugs are marked up, care needs pre-authorizations, and docs labeled “this is NOT a bill” are ridiculous artifacts of a payer-first healthcare experience.

“The system behind our healthcare today is working exactly as its designed: for payers. We want to re-design that,” says Glen. “It’s not, ‘how do we get through that better?’ That would be navigating. It’s ‘how do we go completely around that and re-design the experience?’”

Glen talks us through the leverage retailers like Walmart and Amazon really have to help take on non-innovative payers what role Transcarent is playing in all of this, and how startups like GoodRx, Ro, and Capsule who are successfully challenging PBMs are demonstrating that payment model innovation is possible.

And, while we wait for the next big deal to come from ‘healthcare’s best dealmaker, we’ve got some foreshadowing: a quick mention of Oscar Health that registered on my radar as interesting, along with some very specific details about how Transcarent will expand its offering next, looking at MSK, cancer care, behavioral health (particularly for teens), and bringing in more “human voices” for their members to turn to for advice.

Tech Can’t Fix the Problems in Healthcare

By KIM BELLARD

Shira Ovide, who writes the On Tech newsletter for The New York Times, had a thoughtful column last week: Tech Can’t Fix the Problem of Cars.  It was, she said, inspired by Peter Norton’s Autonorama: The Illusionary Promise of High Tech DrivingThe premise of both, in case the titles didn’t already give it away, is that throwing more tech into our cars is not going to address the underlying issues that cars pose. 

It made me think of healthcare. 

What’s been going on in the automotive world in the past decade has truly been amazing. Our cars have become mobile screens, with big dashboard touchscreen displays, Bluetooth, and streaming. Electric cars have gone from an expensive pipedream to an agreed-upon future, with Tesla valued at over a trillion dollars, despite never having sold a half-million cars annually before 2021. 

If we don’t feel like driving, we can use our smartphones to call an Uber or Lyft. Or we can use the various autonomous features already available on many cars, with an expectation that fully self-driving vehicles are right around the corner. Soon, it seems, we’ll have non-polluting, self-driving vehicles on call: fewer deaths/injuries, less pollution, not as many vehicles sitting around idly most of the day. Utopia, right? 

Continue reading…

CareCentrix CEO on Walgreens Taking Majority Stake, How Post-Acute Care Will Fair in Retail Health

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

The same day Walgreens announced its $5.2B investment in VillageMD to snag a majority stake in the growing primary care clinic, it ALSO revealed it had made a $300M investment in CareCentrix that scored 55% of that company and another opportunity to expand its reach beyond the pharmacy – this time into the home.

CareCentrix’s CEO John Driscoll takes us behind the deal, which lands Walgreens into the world of post-acute care (home nursing, hospital discharge recovery, home infusion, palliative care, etc.) which he describes as the “long-form sexy-cool” segment of the healthcare market that’s not only worth $75B annually now, but that’s also set for massive growth over the next 20 years.

Walgreens is clearly seeing the opportunity John’s seeing, particularly when it comes to positioning its pharmacies as “local health distribution and support centers” – hubs that leverage both the trust patients have in their pharmacists and the frequency with which they visit a Walgreens store compared to a doctor’s office or hospital. In the Walgreens Health strategy, what’s the vision for how CareCentrix and VillageMD will ultimately work together to take care of these regular Walgreens customers? Will post-acute care fair as well as primary care when it comes to a retail distribution channel? And, of course, we HAVE to go behind the scenes on the deal itself and ask John what we were all wondering: Why didn’t Walgreens just acquire both VillageMD and CareCentrix outright??

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