Each week I’ve been adding a brief tidbits section to the THCB Reader, our weekly newsletter that summarizes the best of THCB that week (Sign up here!). Then I had the brainwave to add them to the blog. They’re short and usually not too sweet! –Matthew Holt
In this week’s health care tidbits, a little bit of light was shone on two of the dirty tricks health insurers play. First San Diego is suing Molina, Centene (owner of Healthnet) & Kaiser for misleading patients about which providers are in their networks. Apparently Healthnet & Kaiser’s directories were 35% inaccurate and Molina 80%! Now this may be incompetence, but it is not only false advertising, it’s also a way of weeding out high cost patients who may leave when they can’t find a specialist that will take them–and of course avoiding a high cost patient is a nice earner for health plans.
The next trick is double billing. In this lawsuit unearthed by Bob Herman of Axios, Aetna which was being paid to manage an employer’s health network subbed out PT care to an Optum network. Optum then also charged an admin fee. Meaning the provider got less and the patient had to pay more. So while Aetna and United Healthgroup may appear to be fierce competitors, they’re happy to cooperate when it comes to ripping off their clients.
More bad behavior by health plans and I didn’t even mention them cheating on Medicare Advantage RAFs! But the CEO of Chenmed did.
If we are going to let health insurers profit from handling employer and taxpayer business, we should see those arrangements in the clear light of day. Time for some heavy handed Federal regulation, methinks.
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, I’m cheering England’s win against Germany this week – but Jess keeps us on track with health tech deals. Olive gets another $400 million, bringing their total up to $902 million – with $802 million of that since March 2020. Tendo Systems gets $50 million in a Series A, working on communication between providers and consumers. General Catalyst strikes again, this time in a round with SWORD Health raising $85 million in a Series C, bringing their total to $135 million. This is an MSK company, with a lot of good investors here. Finally, Ro buys Kit an at-home testing company – how does Hims stack up now? And, in case you missed it, Sharecare hits the NYSE today – get the scoop from Jess’s interview with their CEO yesterday.–Matthew Holt
Episode 60 of “The THCB Gang” was live-streamed on Thursday, July 1st. Matthew Holt (@boltyboy) was joined by policy consultant/author Rosemarie Day (@Rosemarie_Day1); THCB Editor and soon-to-be medical student at Yale, and first time #THCBGang participant Christina Liu (@ChristinayLiu) and–making a rare but welcome appearance –venture investor & soccer mogul Marcus Whitney @marcuswhitney We had a great wide ranging chat about Medicaid, venture capital and the unnecessarily excessive rigors of applying to medical school, and what that means for health equity.
The video is below but if you’d rather listen to the episode, the audio is preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels.
I recently interviewed Subha Airan-Javia, the CEO of CareAlign. CareAlign is a small company that is working to fix the clinician workflow by creating a tool for all those interstitial gaps that the big EMRs leave, and now get moved to and from paper by the care team. In this interview she tells me a little about the company and shows how the product works. I found it very impressive
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, Jess claims that I am to blame! But for what?? On Episode 219, Jess and I talk about home care software company AlayaCare raising $225 million CAD. Next, Health Catalyst acquires Twistle for $104 million and Hims acquires teledermatology company Apostrophe. Finally, Spiras Health raises $14 million for at-home chronic care management.—Matthew Holt
On Episode 218 of Health in 2 Point 00, it’s a big week in digital health for IPOs. Today Jess asks me about Bicycle Health’s $27 million Series A, bringing the substance use disorder startup’s total to $32.3 million. NexHealth, which is like Shopify for doctors, gets $31 million in a Series B, Stork Club raises $30 million in a Series A, and DrChrono raises $20 million for its EHR. Finally, Pear Therapeutics is SPAC-ing out with a $1.6 billion valuation. As we all know, DTx is my favorite category of health tech so tune in for what I have to say about this one. —Matthew Holt
#THCBGang will feature special guest venture capitalist & massive over-achiever Justin Norden (@JustinNordenMD) from GSR Ventures. Also joining Matthew Holt (@boltyboy) will be regulars, patient safety expert and all around wit Michael Millenson (@MLMillenson); WTF Health host & Health IT girl Jessica DaMassa (@jessdamassa); futurist Ian Morrison (@seccurve); & THCB regular writer Kim Bellard (@kimbbellard)
Then video will be below at 1pm PT- 4pm ET. If you’d rather listen, the audio is preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels.
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, I haven ‘t been fired yet – so I’m taking over this episode. On Episode 217, there’s been a lot going on in the digital health world, including the biggest IPO in health tech ever with Bright Health’s $14 billion valuation. Speaking of IPOs, 23andMe went public yesterday with a $3.5 billion valuation.Zus Health gets $25 million in a Series A with Jonathan Bush as CEO. Pill Club raises $49 million getting contraceptives to women online, similar to Nurx. Finally Brightline gets $72 million, this is a child mental health company; they take family prep, family counseling psychiatry, and coaching and put it all together.—Matthew Holt
Episode 58 of “The THCB Gang” will be live-streamed on Thursday, June 17th at 1pm PT -4PM ET. Matthew Holt (@boltyboy) will be joined by regulars futurist Jeff Goldsmith; policy expert consultant/author Rosemarie Day (@Rosemarie_Day1); Consumer advocate & CTO of Carium Health, Lygeia Ricciardi (@Lygeia); and–after way too long an absence–economist & consumer expert Jane Sarasohn-Kahn (@healthythinker)
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
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, Jess is trying to replace me with the other Matthew Holt. But on Episode 216, I am still around to talk about some deals. First, Datavant acquires Ciox Health in a $7 billion deal, aiming to create the nation’s largest health data ecosystem. Next, Avenue Health is a new company that has just been launched, working on seamless, end-to-end data integration and blockchain, and AllyAlign Health raises $300 million as a new Medicare advantage plan. Finally, Cerebral raises $127 million – this is like a Ro or Hims but specifically for mental health. —Matthew Holt
Listen to them on Itunes or Spotify
Subscribe to our mailing list
Want to Partner with THCB?
View our Advertisement & Sponsorship Prospectus here