On Health in 2 Point 00, this time we have Jess tell us about OneDrop, Bayer, and SCOR’s new partnership, creating a chronic condition-specific life insurance policy using OneDrop’s platform and SCOR’s risk predictive engine. On Episode 180, Jess asks me about Signify Health filing for IPO – a real IPO, not a SPAC one, Lumiata getting $14 million working on predictive analytics, and Neuroflow getting $20 miillion in a Series A led by Magellan. —Matthew Holt
By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH
On the eve of the finalization of their SPAC IPO and New York Stock Exchange debut as $HIMS, Hims & Hers CEO, Andrew Dudum, sat down with Jess DaMassa to talk about his wellness company’s transition into full-on healthcare provider. With new primary care, mental health care, and covid19 testing services launched as a result of the pandemic, Hims & Hers has expanded beyond their initial dermatology and sexual health core to provide telehealth-plus-pharmacy services for a growing range of chronic conditions, mental health issues, and everyday health concerns commonly tackled by PCPs. How far into healthcare delivery will Hims & Hers go? What types of acquisitions or innovations will be necessary to compete with the likes of Teladoc/Livongo, Optum, or the slew of virtual-first primary care clinics currently vying to be healthcare’s “digital front door”? And, what are we to make of that fact that Hims & Hers has gone retail: appearing on the shelves of every Target store in the US? Healthcare’s changing, and we get a fired-up Andrew to wax philosophical on why companies like his — that are consumer-focused, disrupting the healthcare “experience,” AND slowly eroding the healthcare payment model with a customer base willing to pay out-of-pocket — will be leading the way to a next-generation healthcare model.
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, we’ve made it to Inauguration Day! On Episode 179, we have over $300 million in deals and a SPAC IPO. Jess asks for my take on Hims & Hers going public, primary care chatbot company K Health raising $132 million, digital pathology company Paige raising $100 million, and ACO management company Aledade getting another $100 million. —Matthew Holt
By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH
Hinge Health kicked off 2021 with a massive $300M Series D, driving the digital health musculoskeletal care company to a $3B valuation that, normally, would have sent health tech pundits into full-on IPO rumor mode…except that Hinge Health’s co-founder & CEO Daniel Perez beat them to it! We get into the details behind those comments (from what shall now be known as “the chatty Reuters interview”) where he not only revealed the company’s IPO plans, but also talked about how Hinge is well on it’s way to hit $200M in revenue. If 2021 is a year that Dan says will be focused on getting the business “operationally mature” enough to go public, what, exactly will be on the agenda? We dive into the competitive landscape, talk market size (Dan says more than 50% of employees on employer sponsored plans already have access to Hinge Health), and explore whether or not there are designs to expand into comorbidities common to back and joint pain, like mental health, obesity, diabetes, etc. Says Dan, “We’re going to use the capital to really invest in our innovation and R&D team and to stay different. We’re not just going to do the obvious moves.” Tune in for all the details on exactly what that means and why Dan thinks it’s central to Hinge Health’s market leadership in the MSK care space.
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, Jess admires my new COVID-safe ski gear, designed to provide the right amount of coverage to the right part of your face at the right time. On Episode 178, Jess asks me about Talkspace finally getting its SPAC IPO together with a $1.4 billion valuation – this was a long time coming. Accolade acquires 2nd.MD for $460 million, Dina Health raises $7 million in a Series A, and Komodo Health raises $44 million and acquires the consulting business from Mavens. —Matthew Holt
We should be celebrating the biggest fundraising year ever for healthcare tech and instead where are we? Not at JP Morgan. Today on Health in 2 Point 00, we chat about the mind-blowingly big numbers for health tech funding this year—Startup Health reported $21.5 billion for the year, Rock Health $14.1 billion. On Episode 177, Jess asks me about Aspen RxHealth raising $23 million in a Series B for their online pharmacy network, Monument getting $10 million for alcohol treatment, Carrum Health raising $40 million for their centers of excellence play, and yet another mental health startup Valera Health raising $4.7 million. —Matthew Holt
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, Jess and I chat about Haven finally closing its doors. On Episode 175, we cover Color raising $167 million growing fast as the major COVID tester in the Bay Area and 23andMe scoring $82.5 million. RapidSOS quietly raised another $51.2 million on New Year’s Eve, Fruit Street Health raises $22 million for chronic condition management, and finally Centene acquires Magellan for $2.2 billion. —Matthew Holt
By MIKE MAGEE
Can you wrestle a collusive, private, profiteering Medical-Industrial Complex to the ground by throwing more private entrepreneurs at it? Apparently not.
The very public collapse of Haven – the widely heralded health joint venture of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan Chase – is a case in point. After three years, it is unclear whether they were a public-spirited triad trying to bathe efficiency into our bizarre employer-based health insurance scheme, or becoming predatory investors in one of the most profitable segments of our national economy.
When launched nameless in January, 2018, most of the focus was on the three amigos – Warren Buffett, Jamie Dimon, and Jeff Bezos. The linking of hands of the nation’s biggest technology power player, her most revered and respected investor, and her highest ranked financial all star, was impossible to ignore.
What were they up to? No one was quite sure. But there was enough concern about disruption of a sector controlling nearly 1/5 of the American economy that prices of CVS Health, Walmart, Cardinal Health and Express Scripts dove south.
This week, with the announcement of the non-profit joint venture’s collapse, analysts wasted no time piling on. As one said, “Haven had a rocky three years, running up against vague marching orders, a lack of direction, and obstacles inherent to the healthcare landscape.”
But it didn’t start that way. Warren Buffett presented health care that day as “a hungry tapeworm on the American economy.” Jamie Dimon noted that we pay twice as much for poorer quality care than other developed nations. And Jeff Bezos suggested that it was time for PBM’s and insurers to trim their sails.
By the summer of 2018, the three signaled they were seriousby hiring widely acclaimed health leader, Atul Gawande, as their CEO. As Buffett said, “Jamie, Jeff, and I are confident that we have found in Atul the leader who will get this important job done.” It would be another nine months before they could settle on a name for the venture – Haven (as in safe haven for their 1.3 million combined employees).Continue reading…
By KIM BELLARD
Google’s corporate motto – written in its original Code of Conduct — was once “Don’t be evil.” That softened over time; Alphabet changed it to “Do the right thing” in 2015, although Google itself retained the slogan until early 2018. Some Alphabet employees think Google/Alphabet has drifted too far away from its original aims: they’ve formed a union in order to try to steer the company back to its more idealistic roots.
Parul Koul and Chewy Shaw, two Alphabet software engineers, announced the Alphabet Workers Union in a New York Times op-ed, vowing to live by the original motto, and to do what they can to ensure that Alphabet and its various companies do as well. They assert: “We want Alphabet to be a company where workers have a meaningful say in decisions that affect us and the societies we live in.”
It’s past time that health care workers, including physicians and executives, stood up for the same thing.
Ms. Koul and Mr. Shaw cite several grievances, including payouts to executives accused of sexual harassment, the firing of a leading AI expert over her efforts to address bias in AI, and company efforts to “keep workers from speaking on sensitive and publicly important topics.” Doing the work, even doing it well and being well paid for it, is not enough:
We care deeply about what we build and what it’s used for. We are responsible for the technology we bring into the world. And we recognize that its implications reach far beyond the walls of Alphabet.
Their goal is for Alphabet “to be a company where workers have a meaningful say in decisions that affect us and the societies we live in.” Alphabet, they say, “has a responsibility to prioritize the public good. It has a responsibility to its thousands of workers and billions of users to make the world a better place.”
Investors may not quite agree.Continue reading…
By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH
Arguably 2020’s hottest health tech startup, Olive (olive.ai) closed THREE funding rounds this year, totaling $450M and valuing the company at $1.5B. Backed by a “who’s who” of technology, healthcare, and health tech venture capital, Sean Lane, CEO, clues us in about just what makes Olive so damn fund-able. The company boasts a “healthcare AI workforce” that tackles all the back-office processes hospitals use to run their organizations. This is not sexy stuff — filing and tracking insurance claims, ordering inventory, managing suppliers, etc. What’s hot, though, is how Olive is able to automate these tasks (according to Sean, currently many of these processes are handled by spreadsheets and faxes), “learn” as she’s doing it, and create efficiencies and cost savings across all of Olive’s 600+ hospital client-base as she does. Could this be the end of “admin expense” in healthcare? If what Olive is currently doing isn’t enough, we dive deep into Olive’s strategic plan — ALL FIVE POINTS OF IT (!) — to learn what’s next. My favorite? Number 3. The one where Olive starts to INSTANT PAY CLAIMS to completely disrupt hospital cash flow.