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Category: Health Tech

HLTH 2022: Health Gorilla & Interoperability’s New TEFCA-Fueled Future

Health Gorilla is in the business of health data interoperability and the double-backflip this startup is doing to both make clinical data an easily accessible commodity – while also making sure that access to that data adheres to the privacy rules established by the US government – takes a minute to understand, but is critically important for the future of many health tech businesses.

CEO Steve Yaskin takes on the tough job giving us a brief overview of TEFCA (the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement) which is meant to establish once-and-for-all a common ground for data interoperability. Then, we get into QHINs – a specially designated group of “qualified health information networks – and how his business is applying for this certification to further build “the bridge” between the public sector and the private sector and what’s needed to achieve compliance for data exchange.

Phew! No wonder this startup has landed nearly $80 million dollars in funding! We talk about the basis for the business model – but, more importantly, the real market need – and find out what’s in store for all of us in the next chapter of data interoperability.

THCB Gang Episode 110, Thursday December 15

Joining Matthew Holt (@boltyboy) on #THCBGang on Thursday December 15 were patient safety expert and all around wit Michael Millenson (@mlmillenson); policy expert consultant/author Rosemarie Day (@Rosemarie_Day1); writer Kim Bellard (@kimbbellard), consumer expert Lygeia Riccardi (@Lygeia) radiologist Saurabh Jha (@RogueRad), and Olympic rower for 2 countries and all around dynamo Jennifer Goldsack, (@GoldsackJen). It was a full house and lots of fun, with a lot wrapped round the theme of protecting consumers (or not) online.

You can see the video below & if you’d rather listen than watch, the audio is preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels.

HLTH 2022: Turquoise Health CEO Talks Future of Healthcare Price Transparency

By JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Along with the implementation of CMS’s hospital price transparency rules in 2021 came a market opportunity for savvy health tech startups able to not only aggregate the massive amount of data coming in from providers and payers, but to actually make it usable for shopping healthcare services or large-scale market analysis for those without a computer engineering degree or background in healthcare economics. Turquoise Health is one of those startups, but what makes the Andreessen Horowitz-backed biz a stand-out from the pack is the extra SAS platform of services it’s building on top of those analytics and compliance products that will, ultimately, offer payers and providers a way to use all that pricing data to better negotiate their contracts with one another. Turquoise Health’s CEO Chris Severn explains the business model and how he plans to ‘platform out’ price transparency to a next-gen rev cycle state that gets us to the holy grail of “upfront, ubiquitous pricing in healthcare.”

HLTH 2022: Komodo Health Says “Big Pharma Needs to Kick Its Consulting Addiction”

By JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Komodo Health’s co-founder & President, Web Sun, has a big challenge for Big Pharma: Kick your “addiction” to the laborious, time-consuming, consultant-led process it takes to get the answers you need to your big data questions.

Komodo itself works with a lot of Big Pharma clients to use its full-stack approach to deliver insights on patient costs and outcomes at-scale – so, what’s up with the tough love??

The answer may have more to do with the news Web shares about how Komodo is starting to evolve its business model from working with Pharma on “applications” that leverage its platform to a model that lets third-party developers access that platform and its capabilities DIRECTLY. Web unpacks what this shift means, and how his team hopes it helps Pharma more cost-effectively invest in research for everything from clinical development and real-world evidence projects to health economics studies and patient outcomes research.

Still not sure how Komodo does its data magic? Web talks us through a great example — a synthetic control arm project (!!!) — Komodo is doing with AppliedVR, and, OF COURSE, what WTF Health interview would be complete without a follow-up on IPO gossip.

HLTH 2022: Thirty Madison and The Expanding Definition of Women’s Health – and Its Revenue Model!

By JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

The definition of women’s health keeps expanding beyond sexual and reproductive health (finally!) and among those leading the way toward more holistic health for women is virtual pharmacy startup, Thirty Madison, which acquired “Uber-for-birth control” biz, Nurx, at the beginning of this year.

Thirty Madison’s President Michelle Carnahan gives us an update on the integration of the two companies around women’s health, and talks about Thirty Madison’s brand-new mental health offering which will address “mild to moderate” mental health care needs including medication management.

More interesting for those interested in the business of health tech, however, is how Thirty Madison’s business model is starting to evolve from its direct-to-consumer beginnings. Michelle says that just a year ago, 95% of revenue was generated from their D2C efforts. Now, it’s more of a 70/30 split, with enterprise earnings coming in through a variety of mechanisms including accepting insurance on their site, partnering with PBMs, and some special partnerships with incumbents like UnitedHealthcare and CVS Health. Interesting evolution AND interesting partners there…watch to hear more!

HLTH 2022: “Build-Mode” Glen Tullman Talks Transcarent Clients, Charts Comparison With Livongo

By JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Lesson learned: Don’t bet against Glen Tullman. Transcarent’s CEO brings his legendary “paper schedule packet” to our interview to prove the point that he carries Livongo’s first growth chart around with him everyday as a reminder of the number of overnights it takes to build a “overnight success” of a business. As Glen puts it, “When you’re building these companies, everybody remembers where you ended…they don’t remember where you started.”

So, how in the world did we get to this public prove-you-wrong? Catch the conversation that led us there as we talk about Transcarent’s growth two-years in and address the elephant in the room about why there have been so few customer announcements from the employer-focused health and care company. We get a few name-drops here, and also assurance that publicity around some new Fortune 50 and Fortune 100 clients is imminent. Lots of other interesting “build-mode” talk about what else is starting to come together at Transcarent including the “first independent provider network in the country” and more details on the recent Prescryptive partnership which is aiming to rewrite the script on how employers source pharmacy benefits.

THCB Gang Episode 109, Thursday December 8, 1pm PT 4pm ET

Joining Matthew Holt (@boltyboy) on #THCBGang on Thursday December 8 will be futurist Jeff Goldsmith; privacy expert Deven McGraw (@healthprivacy), and employer & care consultant Brian Klepper (@bklepper1). Deven has a bunch of insights from her new study on health data access!

You can see the video below & if you’d rather listen than watch, the audio is preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels.

HLTH 2022: Calibrate Launches Enterprise Product to Bring GLP1 Weight Loss Drugs to Payers/Employers

by JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Telehealth weight loss clinic Calibrate is expanding its two-year old D2C biz and taking it into the workplace with the launch of ‘Calibrate for Enterprise,’ which makes its program of GLP-1 weight loss drugs and behavior change coaching now available to payers and self-insured employers as a packaged employee health benefit. CEO Isabelle Kenyon shares the news here and reveals that the enterprise offering actually launched in stealth-mode a little more than a month ago with three clients and already has signed up more members in one month than it had its entire first six months D2C. How does the math work on ‘Calibrate for Enterprise,’ when GLP-1 drugs are $700-$1,300 per month? Isabelle explains how they’re making the total cost of care equation work for payers and employers AND addresses common concerns about what happens to all that successful weight loss when employees eventually come off their meds.

Give Kids a Healthy Itch

by KIM BELLARD

Someday I’ll probably write about Neuralink, but these days I don’t feel like giving Elon Musk any extra publicity. I also had the notion to take OpenAI’s newly announced ChatGPT down a rabbit hole about U.S. healthcare, just to see where it would go, but Mr. Musk has his fingerprints on that organization too.  Then I saw something worth celebrating: Scratch has hit 100 million users worldwide

What’s that? You’re not familiar with Scratch? Well, me neither, until last week. Now that I know a little about it, I kind of feel how I felt when I first discovered TikTok, found out about Roblox, or learned about Raspberry Pi. In all cases, there were big ecosystems aimed at young people, getting them to view tech-related things (e.g., gaming, coding, even building computers) as something natural, something fun, something easy to do, and those ecosystems were largely invisible to most adults.

I’m still waiting for the ecosystem that makes health like that for young people.   

Scratch modestly describes itself as a “coding platform for children.” 

Continue reading…

THCB Quickbite: Julian Flannery, CEO, Summus

Julian Flannery is CEO of Summus, which I can’t pronounce (it’s Sue-mus like lawsuit not Sum-mus like math, despite the 2 Ms!). It’s a multidimensional referral platform which combines primary and specialty virtual care for employers, a white-label service for hospitals to deliver their specialty care, and now a peer-to-peer escalation model for specialists to talk to AMC-based specialists & get 2nd opinion reviews. Around 1.4m members on the platform and it’s seen massive usage growth in last 12 months–Matthew Holt

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