Weekly Health Tech Reads | 3/27

Oscar's investor day underwhelms; Fresenius, InterWell & Cricket merge; a look at the state of Medicare Advantage; & more!

Poppins Health is the new brand name of health insurance startup UnifiHealth. Poppins is building a modern health plan for small businesses centered around advanced primary care + transparent pricing. As one member recently put it, they are "refreshing as hell", a phrase I don't often associate with insurance plans. If you're a small employer looking for a new option, or a broker looking for partners, check them out here.

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News:

  • Oscar hosted its investor day on Friday, and it was pretty underwhelming, to put it charitably. We did a deep dive on the Oscar analyst day, and in short, we’ve shifted from an ‘optimistic bull’ at the time of the S-1 to a ‘skeptical bear’ given the investor day presentation. Oscar is really struggling to demonstrate its member experience + tech platform have a material impact on what needs to be a better managed insurance business. Between that and a +Oscar platform that has sputtered out of the gate, 2023 looks like a make-or-break year for Oscar. Check out more on why here.
    Link (HTN Paywall) / Link (Slides) / Slack
  • Fresenius, InterWell, and Cricket announced a merger, combining the entities in a value-based play looking to manage total cost of care for kidney care patients. Check out the HTN site for more on what seems like a win-win-win for all parties - Fresenius builds its VBC presence, InterWell's providers get the upside of global cap, and Cricket gets a presumably solid exit for its VCs and the ability to scale the impact of its tech platform.
    Link (HTN Paywall) / Link (News) / Slack (h/t Ali Khan)
  • Optum acquired Refresh Mental Health, which operates 300 outpatient substance abuse and eating disorder clinics across 37 states. Refresh was previously owned by a private equity firm that purchased it in 2020 at a $700 million valuation, and it was rumored to be generating $40 million of EBITDA at the time of the sale. Friendly reminder for all the virtual care delivery models that cash flow positive under-the-radar clinics aren't a terrible business to be in.
    Link / Slack (h/t Justin Venneri)
  • Google is starting to add appointment scheduling into Google Search, rolling out first with MinuteClinic. They also announced other initiatives including highlighting credible medical Youtube videos in some international markets, and a new study showing a Fitbit algorithm can identify undiagnosed AFib 98% of the time.
    Link / Slack (h/t Brendan Keeler)
  • Teladoc rather vaguely launched a new "Virtual Care Transformation Model" which sounds a lot like an implementation consulting offering to help employers adopt more of Teladoc's solutions. It's not exactly clear to me why Teladoc is putting this out in a press release, but there ya go.
    Link / Slack
  • Availity and Vim partner to help give providers access to payor insights to close gaps in care at the point of care.
    Link / Slack (h/t Neil Sanghavi)
  • SteelSky Ventures raised a new $72 million fund to invest in women's health.
    Link / Slack (h/t Lois Drapin)

Last week we hosted a webinar that Ribbon sponsored to discuss the role of care navigators in the care delivery ecosystem with a partner of theirs in the care navigation space, Health Advocate. Health Advocate and Ribbon provided their perspectives on how employers are increasingly looking for navigators to move beyond response time success metrics and into driving clinical outcomes, and how large of a role provider data will play into that going forward. Link.

Funding:

  • OssoVR raised $66 million for a virtual reality surgical training platform.
    Link
  • TimeDoc raised $48.5 million to build a virtual care platform that helps primary care providers with remote patient monitoring, chronic care management, and behavioral health.
    Link / Slack (h/t Brett Jansen)
  • Podimetrics raised $45 million to help prevent amputations related to diabetic foot ulcers.
    Link
  • Alife raised $22 million to use artificial intelligence to developed personalized IVF treatment plans.
    Link / Slack
  • Antidote, a telehealth platform with ambitions of becoming an HMO insurance plan, raised $22 million. Antidote is currently treating around 2,500 patients a month with 70 providers in the network.
    Link / Slack (h/t Lois Drapin)
  • Recora raised $20 million for virtual cardiac rehab. Recora is currently working with Geisinger but is launching a solution for health systems. This is a space that's been around for a while now, so it'll be interesting to watch how quickly they can get health systems to adopt this. Cardiac rehab historically hasn't been a priority area for many health systems, despite the obvious opportunity for a virtual program.
    Link / Slack
  • Radish Health, a new primary care model for employers, raised $4 million. Radish is focused on supporting municipal governments via a virtual offering as well as work place clinics that offer primary care, mental health, and care navigation services.
    Link

Opinions:

  • This is an excellent piece on the state of Medicare Advantage in Health Affairs, looking at the success of the program to date, the current trajectory, and potential course corrections. It brings up some really interesting, and nuanced discussion of the benefits, and challenges, presented by Medicare Advantage. Among other things it highlights nicely the challenge of Medicare Advantage relying on traditional Medicare for setting its rates in markets where most people are on Medicare Advantage. It's a must read for anyone thinking about what the future might hold for Medicare Advantage.
    Link
  • Here's a good read on how the Cleveland Clinic is building a billion dollar hospital in London, highlighting some of the concerns this raises for the viability of the NHS and the rise of a two tier system.
    Link / Slack
  • Christina Farr and Mariss Schlueter of OMERS Ventures dug into the digital health tech stack with a helpful market map and some details on each space. Market map below.
    Link / Slack (h/t Lois Drapin)

Data:

  • A study suggests rural hospital closures effect not only medical outcomes but the entire local economy around the hospital.
    Link.

Featured Jobs:

  • CVS Health's retail store team is hiring a Senior Manager for Experience Strategy. Link.
  • Dario Health, a digital therapeutics startup for chronic conditions, is hiring a Director of Product - Digital Health. Link.
  • Qventus, a platform for automating patient flow, is hiring a Managing Director of Customer Value. Link.
  • Tia, a tech-enabled women’s health clinic, is hiring a VP of Payor Strategy. Link.

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