Today on Health in 2 Point 00, I air some of my grudges as we get into our deals for the day. In the third extension of their Series C, Medable gets another $78 million bringing their total to $217 million. Olive acquires Empiric Health, expanding into surgical data analytics – where does this fit in with Sean Lane’s five-point strategic plan? Finally, Papa gets a $60 million raise and Anthem, Blackstone and K Health launch a joint venture. —Matthew Holt
By MATTHEW DALE
Did you know that as of January 2021, price transparency is being mandated for hospitals? But what exactly does that mean for company healthcare plans, third-party administrators, healthcare sharing organizations, employers, and employees?
It means U.S. hospitals are now required to provide clear, accessible pricing information online about the items and services they provide in two ways: 1) as a comprehensive machine-readable file and 2) in a display of shoppable services in a consumer-friendly format.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are already requiring hospitals to publicly display their negotiated rates with insurers along with the cash pay price for over 300 shoppable medical services.
For healthcare consumers, this should mean they can shop for the hospital that performs the best knee surgery or other medical procedure for the lowest cost in their area. Unfortunately, the implementation of price transparency has been difficult, to say the least.
The American Hospital Association and other industry groups have spent large amounts of money to block the rule but were unsuccessful. Now, hospitals are trying to get around the rules. A Wall Street Journal investigation found that hundreds of hospitals implemented website code to block search engines from returning results for price inquiries.
Technically, hospitals are following the price transparency rule, but by deliberately hiding data from search engines or making it nearly impossible to find, consumers are unable to locate a hospital or surgery center they can afford. That’s just one example of how hospitals are avoiding price transparency. The AHA has made it clear they are not happy with price transparency and they’ll do whatever they can to avoid this new rule, but why?Continue reading…
Tomorrow we are taking a break from #THCBGang. Don’t worry it’ll be back with a vengeance next week. Instead, Jess DaMassa & I will host a new show “Health Tech Deals” on Clubhouse
So please join Jess and me in The Health Care Blog’s room for “Gossip, analysis & Sh!talking about digital health funding”.
Tomorrow, Apr 8 at 1:00 PM PDT – 4pm ET on @joinClubhouse. Join us! (And if you need an invite to Clubhouse, let me know)
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, I’m getting my shots soon! On Episode 197, General Catalyst is throwing more money around – $101 million goes to BrightInsight for its digital health insights management platform. SteadyMD raises $25 million bringing its total to $31 million, and CirrusMD raises $20 million in a Series C bringing its total to $47 million. Is there room for more telehealth companies? Finally, fertility benefits company Cleo gets $40 million, bringing its total up to $80 million – this was a hot space last year, what’s going on now? —Matthew Holt
By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH
Digital mental health startup Ginger just closed a $100M funding round on the heels of its biggest growth year yet: tripling revenue in 2020, bringing its employer-client count to 500, and expanding to offer its services to more than 30 integrated health systems and health plans. CEO Russ Glass updates us on what’s next for the company now that it, too, has joined the $1-Billion-Plus club of digital mental health startups.
In a space where competitors are well-capitalized and poised to scale (Don’t forget: Talkspace awaits it’s SPAC IPO, Lyra Health has raised a whopping $475M, and others like Happify Health and Modern Health have just soared past $100M in total funding) Ginger plans to stand apart with a value-based care approach that offers employers a single-priced, fixed fee that gives employees access to Ginger’s entire spectrum of care. Launched during the pandemic, more than 60% of Ginger’s new employer clients have opted for this approach in effort to improve both the quality and cost of care offered to their employees. We dig in to hear more about this model and hear Russ’s predictions for how the supply-and-demand imbalance in mental health will continue to impact us (and the digital mental health market) as the pandemic wans.
By JON BLOOM
The rate of adoption for virtual care and remote monitoring solutions has skyrocketed over the last year as access to in-person appointments has been limited, but despite the uptick, we’re still drastically underutilizing their potential. These solutions often focus on treating a singular episode or chronic condition, when in fact they can open the door to more wide-ranging proactive monitoring and care that can have huge benefits in the long term.
By simply offering a touchpoint for patients to interact with the health care system through solutions like remote monitoring, providers can detect and address all sorts of problems before they escalate and require more intense, expensive interventions, even if the problem isn’t related to the primary purpose of the solution.
The downstream effects of these solutions are significant, both in terms of reducing the financial strain by eliminating unnecessary ER visits and hospitalizations, and in the long-term patient outcomes that are improved by catching problems early.
For example, a study from October we conducted with the Mid Atlantic Permanente Group found that one prevention program for patients at risk of diabetic foot complications also saw reductions in all-cause hospitalizations by 52 percent and emergency department visits by 41 percent. Despite the fact that the subject solution was originally designed specifically to help prevent diabetic foot complications, the touchpoint was able to have a profound impact on overall health and total cost of care.
This follows previous research on other condition-specific remote patient monitoring solutions that showed similar reductions in all-cause hospitalizations and mortality, further supporting the idea that these solutions can have broader impacts than just helping treat the condition they’re designed for.
These findings are especially significant considering many of these solutions, like the one studied in the October research, are often deployed to underserved populations who tend to be less likely to schedule care on their own, whether that be for a well visit or because they’ve noticed a change in their health. By putting devices in their homes and removing the burden of seeking care, we can move toward a future in which patients are able to get the care they need even if they don’t know they need it or don’t know how to get it.Continue reading…
On Episode 193 of Health in 2 Point 00, we have another huge day! We catch up on Amazon’s telehealth news before covering more massive deals. Evidation gets $153 million, bringing their total to a whopping $259 million and Komodo Health gets $220 million, bringing their total to $319 million. Bigfoot Biomedical raises $53 million for Type 1 diabetes care, and Glooko raises $30 million for their management system primarily working with diabetes clinics. —Matthew Holt
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, we’re back with more deals as promised for our post St-Patty’s episode. On Episode 192, Jess and I have lots to chat about because Glen Tullman is back—he becomes the CEO of Transcarent, a new company which is going direct to employers and doing navigation and telehealth and centers of excellence. Despite the crowded space (especially after this week’s Doctor on Demand and Grand Rounds merger), Glen says there is huge demand from employers. Catch our interview with him on WTF Health. Next, Happify Health gets $75 million, bringing their total up to $123 million. I had an interview with their President Ofer Leidner on THCB Spotlight yesterday, so tune in there to find out about this mental health company delivering automated, self-service care. Finally, two remote patient monitoring companies get funding – 100Plus gets $25 million in a Series A, and Health Recovery Solutions gets $70 million in a C. How are these different and why is there all this money in RPM now? —Matthew Holt
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, primary care appears to have jumped the shark because there is a deal in this episode in which the investors on the round are probably Jess’s favorite group of investors ever. Forward Health raises $225 million in a Series D – there’s Softbank money in this round as well as The Weeknd – but why didn’t they just go public? Patient billing company Cedar raises $200 million, bringing their valuation up to $3.2 billion, although I’m not too impressed by the concept. Finally, Babylon is making inroads into the U.S. from the U.K., buying a California-based provider group. —Matthew Holt
By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH
Oh Baby! Connected digital nursery startup, Owlet Baby Care, just announced their SPAC IPO and intention to take their infant smart sock from baby monitor to FDA-approved medical device. I talk with Owlet’s co-founder & CEO, Kurt Workman, to find out why the baby health tech company (which has raised $48M in venture funding) has decided to take the business public in order to pursue its plans for growth as a pediatric healthcare company caring for baby “from conception to kindergarten.” Kurt gets into the details behind the work Owlet’s team is doing now to get their device FDA-approved in two different ways, and how they’re using Livongo Health’s remote monitoring/data analytics/telehealth model as a precedent for pursuing health insurance reimbursement. There may be lots of market skepticism out there about wearables – particularly socks, and especially with infants – but this deep-dive into Owlet’s vision for data-driven parenting provides a pretty compelling vision for both better and more cost-effective baby care, and the bonus of a better night’s sleep for new parents. Owlet’s calling it an $81 BILLION DOLLAR addressable market, and Kurt believes that it stands alone in terms how its bringing together full-stack connected technology and a consumerized healthcare experience to bridge the gap from hospital to home.