On Health in 2 Point 00, Jess and I talk about TDOC earnings before getting into today’s deals. First, Virta Health scores $133 million in a round led by Tiger Global for its keto diabetes reversal program. Seqster raises $12 million in its Series A, and there are some interesting investors in this one. MSK startup Kaia Health raises $75 million, bringing its total to $123 million. Online pharmacy Capsule raises $300 million, bringing its total to $570 million. Finally Accolade acquires virtual primary care platform PlushCare in a $450 million deal. —Matthew Holt
Thursday’s #THCBGang was another with a special guest. Matthew Holt (@boltyboy) was joined by regulars, employer health expert Jennifer Benz (@jenbenz); patient safety expert and all around wit Michael Millenson (@MLMillenson); WTF Health host & Health IT girl Jessica DaMassa (@jessdamassa); & Consumer advocate & CTO of Carium Health, Lygeia Ricciardi (@Lygeia).
Our special guest was Shantanu Nundy @DrNundy who is Chief Medical Officer of Accolade and more importantly author of new book Care After Covid. We dug into the question about what the post-covid health care system will look like, while I let slip why I’m grumpy Accolade just paid $450m for Plushcare! (You have to wait for the very end for that!)
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
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, Jess and I cover some big news! Accolade has filed its IPO, so on Episode 132 I give my take on this health care navigation service. We also cover Somatus getting $64 million for chronic kidney disease care, NexHealth raising $15 million, Tatch raising $4.25 million for sleep apnea diagnosis, Simply Speak raising a $1.1 million seed round, and optimize.health raising $3.5 million for its remote monitoring platform. —Matthew Holt
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, Jess is singing as we are finally back with a two-part episode to cover the deals over the past couple weeks! On part A of Episode 110, Jess and I begin with Trump as he is set to speak at HIMSS next week. K Health raises $48 million in its Series C round to focus development on AI-powered primary care. Accolade files for a $100 million IPO and the telehealth language service platform Cloudbreak Health raises $10 million. Finally, Q Bio raises $40 million in Series B funding aiming to open additional centers and enhance the digital health platform. -Matthew Holt
Today on THCB Spotlights, Matthew interviews Todd Clardy who is the EVP of Marketing at Accolade. Accolade is a company well-known for being in employee/patient advocacy. They’ve created an advocacy model that focuses on creating an outstanding member experience and supporting patients through their whole journey, whether it’s an acute or chronic condition or helping people maintain their health and wellness. Where do Amazon, Google and Haven fit into this space? Find out how many people have got this and how Accolade will be expanding going forward.
I have spent years whining that no one is doing a good job helping people navigate through the maze of health care. And a survey out last week from my old firm Harris paid for by Accolade confirms that people need help. Doctors don’t and can’t do this. 71% of people said they trusted their doctors, but only 16% said their doctors had time to understand their life circumstances. Yet last summer a touted Silicon Valley startup called Better failed to make a go of a service doing just that.
Somehow Accolade seems to be threading this needle. They’ve raised more than $125m (including another $30m late last year beyond what I discuss in this interview). While they’re helping patients they’re charging their employers and insurers for the service. Late last summer I met Accolade’s EVP Amy Loftus. In this interview she explains what they do, and how it works.
The person with diabetes whose HA1C is consistently above normal limits – the one who swears, when confronted with the numbers (yet again) he’ll start eating right and using his insulin as prescribed.
And yet, month after month, the lab work tells a different story. We watch in helpless frustration as patients like these spiral downward, developing complication after complication.
I thought about “that patient” as I read a recent Wall Street Journal article describing Dr. Judith Hibbard’s Patient Activation Measure (PAM), which she and her colleagues at the University of Oregon developed some years ago.
First, let me say I greatly admire the research and work of Dr. Hibbard and her team; I believe that the PAM is a wonderful tool and a step forward in better understanding patients.
While the article, and Dr. Hibbard, argue that the use of the tool can better target the needs of patients – and I agree – I can’t help but worry that the entire premise that patients need to be “activated” misses a point.
Patients are people before they are patients.
We know that when people are sick, they are still part of their broader world of family, friends and finances. We also know that their social, spiritual and psychological selves are every bit as important, and as important to their “cure” as their activation as a patient.
I suspect that Dr. Hibbard would agree with me and even argue that the PAM reflects all of these factors.
PAM is accurately diagnosing the end state – how all these factors impact the patient and the patient’s ability to be involved in his or her own care.
I worry, however, that the PAM may be oversold by healthcare administrators who put it in place as a way of trying to address all the factors that affect patient activation.