HTN Weekly Health Tech Reads 10/24

A number of acquisitions (including Oak Street / RubiconMD, 23andMe / Lemonaid), CMMI releases a strategy refresher, Milliman report on MA & more

News:

  • Oak Street announced it has acquired e-consult startup RubiconMD for $130 (up to $190) million. This seems like a very logical acquisition for Oak Street to make, at a very reasonable price in the current valuation environment we live in. Oak Street provided an investor deck that walks through the rationale here quite nicely - RubiconMD generates $500-$800 average savings per eConsult, and avoids 45% of downstream referrals. When you're a risk-based PCP, being able to integrate this into your care model directly is huge. It'll be interesting to watch what Oak does with RubiconMD's existing customers aside from Oak over time - does this become the beginning of a 'platform' play they license to other PCPs? Or do they slowly kill the non-Oak business? Picking something in the middle of those two seems like a distraction. Link.
  • 23andMe announced it is acquiring Lemonaid, a virtual care and medication delivery startup, for $400 million. This moves 23andMe more directly into the care delivery / primary care space. The concept of wrapping genomics into a primary care delivery model is an interesting one, and you can certainly imagine how 23andMe could create an integrated service with a genomics report leading to a telehealth visit to a prescription delivery. 23andMe is becoming a really complex business between attempting to disrupt the primary care space and it's drug development arm - will be curious to see how 23andMe chooses to build upon Lemonaid as a platform. Link.
  • Privia announced it is entering California via the acquisition of BASS Medical Group's MSO provider. BASS operates at 125 locations in the Bay Area with 400 providers across 42 specialties. Now seems like a very good time to be a local PCP group looking to find an acquirer for your business. Link
  • Mental health startup SonderMind acquired Qntfy, a predictive analytics platform that abhors vowels. Link.
  • Home testing startup Everly Health acquired reproductive health startup Natalist. Seems like a natural product extension for Everly Health, and a new home with upside for the Natalist team inside a fast-growth company. Link.
  • HealthEdge, an admin platform for payors, acquired Wellframe, a digital health startup that provides health plans with a member engagement solution for high risk members. Wellframe's evolution would make for an interesting digital health case study, as it got its start almost a decade ago as an app helping patients through cardiac rehab. Link.
  • General Catalyst announced another interesting yet vague partnership, this time with Jefferson Health. Jefferson will tap into the "Health Assurance Network", which appears to include Commure, Tendo, Transcarent, and Olive. What Jefferson is committing to doing with those four companies isn't exactly clear, but that doesn't appear to be stopping General Catalyst these days. It's worth mentioning that General Catalyst's Hemant Taneja and Jefferson's Steven Klasko have a very close relationship as part of the crew working to make Health Assurance a thing. Link.
  • The AMA announced that it, along with several other entities, stopped scope of practice expansion efforts for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) in eight states. In this day in age where clinician shortages and burnout are the norm, this seems tone deaf. Link.  
  • Kidney care startup Strive Health is expanding by launching a platform to help nephrologists manage value-based care contracts. Link.

Funding:

  • Workit Health raised $118 million for its virtual substance use disorder program. Link.
  • Bardavon, an MSK platform, raised $90 million. Link.
  • Digital therapeutic startup Click Therapeutics raised $52 million. Link.
  • Skyflow, a data privacy startup, raised $45 million. Link.
  • Modern Age, a new aging / longevity platform, raised $27 million. Modern Age will be opening a studio in NYC in 2022, creating a combo in-person / virtual experience. Another win for the venture studio model in healthcare, as Modern Age incubated at Juxtapose. Link.
  • TripleBlind, another data privacy startup, raised $24 million from Mayo and General Catalyst. Link.
  • European-based provider booking platform Top Doctors raised $13 million. Link.
  • Arine, a medication management platform, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from SCAN Health Plan. Link.

Opinions:

  • CMMI released a strategy refresher, setting its strategic objectives for the next decade. The big takeaway is that CMMI aims for all Medicare, as well as the vast majority of Medicaid, beneficiaries to have a care provider who is responsible for quality and total cost of care. It was nice to see the focus on the Medicaid population in the document, as well as the emphasis on health equity and providing care in underserved / rural areas. For those interested in the tea leaves of which CMMI programs will be supported moving forward, the document says in two places that CMMI intends to build on successful existing models, referencing MSSP as the example of success. Link.
  • Julie Yoo released an article providing an overview of the new go-to-market strategies that are working for health tech startups - B2C2B, B2SMB, risk-based contracting, and 2-sided networks. Provides an interesting way to break down the space, along with a bunch of examples of startups taking each approach. Link.
  • Here's a quick read on how healthcare administration gets more and more complex, as key stakeholders are incentivized to add more complexity to the system. A helpful reminder that when people say the healthcare system is "broken", it really isn't broken. It's working how it's designed to, for the stakeholders its designed for. Those stakeholders just generally don't include patients, which is why it feels so broken to all of us. Link.

Data:

  • Milliman released a report, commissioned by the Better Medicare Analysis, which finds that Medicare Advantage saves the government money compared to Medicare FFS ($943 vs $949 PMPM), while also providing beneficiaries with $123 PMPM in additional supplemental benefits not offered under Medicare FFS. Worth checking this out - although good luck trying to square this with the recent MedPAC report. Link.
  • The Urban Institute released a report looking at specialties that receive the highest markup from commercial relative to Medicare. Anesthesia is the highest markup, at a whopping 330%. Link.

Featured Jobs:

  • Cityblock Health, a primary care startup building a tech-enabled care model for Medicare / Medicaid populations, is hiring a Project Management Lead. Link.
  • Galileo Health, a virtual-first primary care startup, is hiring a Regional Operations Leader. Link.
  • Highmark Health's corporate venture arm is hiring a Director, Highmark Ventures. Link.
  • Neura Health, a startup building virtual clinics for treating headaches and migraines, is hiring a Founding Head of Operations. Link.
  • Oxeon, a healthcare exec search firm / startup venture studio / VC fund, is hiring for its Venture Studio. Link.

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