Weekly Health Tech Reads | 5/28/23

Bright sells Zipnosis to Florence, Halle Tecco shares her angel investing data, & more

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NEWS OF THE WEEK

Sharing our perspective on the news, opinions, and data that made us think the most this week

News

Summary: Zipnosis, a video visit platform for health systems, was acquired by Bright just before Bright’s IPO for ~$50 million (the majority of that was in Bright stock). This ended up becoming a core part of Bright’s IPO story as a key component of its DocSquad platform. Florence launched just a few months ago with $20 million in seed funding from some big name VCs to build out a platform that helps health systems offer more efficient consumer experiences.

Our Reaction:

  • Zipnosis always seemed like an odd fit with Bright. In hindsight, the transaction seems pretty representative of the haste with which Bright acted in attempting to scale as quickly as possible by bolting together a bunch of disparate assets.

  • It is hard to imagine that Bright received much from the sale of Zipnosis given it sold to a startup that has announced $20 million in funding. Certainly creates the feeling that Bright is conducting a fire sale of all assets. It still seems like the odds are against Bright surviving this at the moment.

  • Zipnosis’ fit with Florence makes so much more sense, as Zipnosis becomes a key capability that Florence can offer to health systems. Seems like a good opportunity for Florence to acquire a number of health system customers relatively cheaply. It’ll be interesting to watch if Florence does other tuck-in acquisitions like this one as well.

HTN Slack Convo (h/t Rik Renard)

News

Summary: This is a new initiative combining community resources with a payor partner, Molina, to set up a VBC payment model that will help fund 165 people to go through a ~30 day medical respite program that will help reduce avoidable hospitalizations associated with unstable housing.

Our Reaction:

  • We always think it’s cool to see local initiatives like these launch - bringing together a local payor to support a new community resource helping a complex population. As always, we have many questions as to the longevity of a program like this and whether Molina will be able to identify an ROI from it.

Other Reading:

  • The Washington Post also featured an in depth piece this week looking at the rising number of unhoused seniors, and mentions that the number of respite centers has increased to 150 around the country, up from only 60 in 2016. Even with that increase, the article here does a good job highlighting the magnitude of the challenge in front of us. Link

Opinion

Summary: The podcast explores how folks at the highest quality academic institution in the fine state of North Carolina (obviously Duke) implemented an AI algorithm to detect sepsis in kids. It highlights how algorithms can entrench historical racial biases that have existed in healthcare delivery.

Our Reaction:

  • It’s a good reminder of the potential challenges that can crop up with AI models being used for care delivery. We imagine business leaders in both providers and payors will want to get in front of this in their organizations to ensure that the algorithms they’re building aren’t unintentionally causing harm.

Opinion

Summary: The article reminds us that 41% of all births in this country are financed by Medicaid. It offers some tangible suggestions for changes to language in contracts between Medicaid MCOs and states to support maternal health.

Our Reflection:

  • It’s hard to think about how we’ll meaningfully scale innovation in maternal care when you combine the first data point above, that 41% of all births in this country are paid for by Medicaid, with all of the variation in Medicaid contracts. While it’s not surprising employer models have taken off, we’re not quite sure how scalable models addressing the Medicaid population are. And perhaps that’s not actually a bad thing.

Data

Summary: Tecco, who among other things was the co-founder of Rock Health, shared a blog post outlining her track record as an angel investor since 2012. From 2012 - 2015 she invested her own money in eight companies, generating an IRR of 56%. After 2016, Tecco started investing as a scout for a venture fund, allowing her to significantly scale up the angel investments - she’s made 43 investments since. Yet she’s made $0 on these investments, even though six of her 23 investments have exited.

Our Reflections:

  • Kudos to Tecco for sharing this super helpful breakdown of her angel investing track record over the last decade. For folks who have an interest in angel investing, it’s a fascinating look into the process of angel investing. Given Tecco’s background we’d imagine she has some of the best access to early stage deal flow in the industry. Tecco is more than ten years into angel investing, has personally invested over $250k of her money and $2.5 million of a VC’s money, and her conclusion is still that it is still too early to tell if she’s good or not. It shows just how hard it is to generate returns as an angel.

  • After seeing “scout” models become en vogue over the past few years, it’s not surprising that we’ve heard them go quiet when you look at the data here. Seems like a relic of frothy times where VCs are scrambling to find deals.

  • For folks thinking about dabbling in angel investing, it’s worth thinking through what sort of financial returns you need to see from it. If you’re investing a chunk of your retirement portfolio in angel deals thinking you’re going to make good money in doing so, you should make sure you understand the timelines and risks at play.

OTHER NEWS

A round-up of other newsworthy items we noticed during the week

CVS expects a $800 million to $1 billion operating income hit in 2024 from the decline in Star ratings as the number of members in 4-Star plans drops from 87% to 21%.

FemTec Health, a women’s health startup best known for acquiring Birchbox, is winding down operations as it can’t repay creditors.

Link / Slack (h/t Tracy Massel)

UHC launched a new marketplace to act as a channel partner for digital health vendors seeking to sell to employers.

Link / Slack (h/t Matthew Holt)

VC firm SignalFire shares where they’re most excited about AI in healthcare across payors, providers, pharma, and patients.

The AHA has told HSS to amend or suspend its web-tracking guidance.

Link / Slack (h/t Joanna Strober)

Epic announced this week that close to 30 of its health system clients have pledged to join TEFCA.

The NYTimes covers how employers are increasingly looking at new offerings for menopause as they’re increasingly looking to be seen as “menopause friendly”.

Link / Slack (h/t Monique Kelmenson)

Lifeforce, a “health optimization” platform backed by celebs like Tony Robbins and Serena Williams, raised $12 million.

Neura Health, a virtual neurology clinic, raised $8 million.

Dock Health, a workflow management platform for complex patients, raised $5 million.

Link / Slack (h/t Michael Docktor)

Pear Suite, a platform helping community health workers to address SDoH needs for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, raised a $2.5 million seed round

Link / Slack (h/t Colby Takeda)

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