Kevin's Weekly Health Tech Reads 1/3

A relatively quiet holiday week - Tenet is shifting its focus away from hospitals, CMMI Director defends Geographic Direct Contracting, and more

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News:

  • Oscar has now confidentially filed its S-1 for its upcoming IPO. Anyone else as excited for this as I am?!?! Link.
  • 23andMe raised $82.5 million, apparently an extension on their $250 million raise back in 2017. It’s interesting to read that they’ve seen declining sales this year despite the explosion of in-home testing startups - it seems like they’ve missed on a huge opportunity to expand beyond the novelty genetic test and own the in home testing market. Link.
  • Humana has partnered with Vida, the virtual care platform, for its Medicaid population in Kentucky. I’d be quite curious to know some more details of this program, and specifically what the expectation is around how many Medicaid patients are going to sign up for this. Link.
  • EverCommerce, a company that acquires software platforms for service industries, acquired Updox, a virtual care delivery platform. Link.
  • Apparently Tiktok has launched an AI drug discovery business as it seeks to diversify its business. Ummm… ok. Link.
  • BCBS Kansas City (side note: there are BCBS entities for cities?) has invested in Cedar Gate Technology, a value based care tech platform. The investment was made via BCBS KC’s private equity subsidiary, Cobalt Ventures. Link.
  • Inova, a health system around Virgina & D.C., is investing $1 billion in building a new medical campus at the site of a defunct mall in Alexandria. Doesn’t quite seem to fit the struggling hospital narrative does it? Link.
  • DXY, an online community of physicians in China, raised $500 million. Link.

Opinions:

  • This is an interesting look into how Tenet’s strategic focus is shifting from hospitals to ambulatory settings, and specifically ASCs. Tenet’s ambulatory earnings have gone from 4% of total earnings in 2014 to a projected 41% of total earnings in 2021. Worth checking out. Link.
  • CMMI director Brad Smith penned a piece defending the Geographic Direct Contracting model, coming only a matter of days after the National Association of ACOs called for a halt to the model. Smith calls the model a win for beneficiaries, a win for communities, and a win for healthcare providers. This is going to be an interesting fight to watch. Link.
  • Here’s a fascinating tweetstorm on the challenges of price transparency in healthcare by the CEO of Carbon Health. It sheds a bit of light on the challenges of innovating in healthcare. Take something that seems so obvious and intuitive as price transparency - and it turns into an incredibly complex topic that even a leading startup that has now raised $172 million dollars hasn’t been able to make progress on. Link.

Data:

  • This is an interesting study on the effectiveness of AI chatbots versus general primary care docs, sponsored by Ada, a AI chatbot company evaluated in the study. So, apply whatever caveats you want because of that, however, it is interesting to see the PCPs generally outperform the AI chatbots across the board. Link.
Figure 5
  • The individual open enrollment period ended on December 15th, with 8.2 million people signing up for individual plans. Link.

Jobs:

  • Kalderos, a discount drug management platform, is hiring a VP for Medicaid business. Link.
  • Rupa Health, a specialty lab portal for integrative medicine, is hiring a head of marketing. Link.
  • Vincere Health, a digital therapeutic for smoking cessation, is hiring a part time business development role. Link.