HTN | Weekly Health Tech Reads | 8/27

August 27, 2023

Weekly Newsletter

Welcome to this week’s free weekly newsletter, where we share our perspectives on some of the key healthcare related news of the week.

If you want to get the most out of HTN, consider joining our community, where you’ll be able to hang out virtually with 4,000+ other nerds to discuss the trends and impacts below.

Check out what you’re missing in the HTN community by signing up here!


A round-up of newsworthy items we noticed this week

CMS released the 2022 performance year results for the Medicare Shared Savings Program, which generated over $1.8 billion in savings for the year compared to spending targets. Aledade came out looking particularly good in the results, with four of the top ten ACOs in terms of overall savings rates. Not every organization demonstrated such solid success. As highlighted by Manas Kaushik in Slack, CVS’s ACOs had more mixed results with some ACOs not generating savings. Optum ACOs, on the other hand, appears to have performed well.
Link / Slack (h/t Manas Kaushik)

Oak Street and Strive Health announced a partnership focused on patients with late stage chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease in existing Oak Street markets. This marks the second major initiative Oak Street has launched in the kidney care space this year, following the launch of its OakWell JV with Interwell. The JV appears more focused on the dialysis market, although given Cricket is part of Interwell, this partnership seems a bit conflicting with that one.
Link / Slack (h/t Chase Jones)

In a sign the IPO market is thawing, Waystar, a revenue cycle management vendor, has confidentially filed for an IPO at a rumored $8 billion valuation.
Link / Slack (h/t He Wang)

Cancer care startup Thyme Care raised $60 million in Series B funding to expand the company's network of oncology partners into new markets and add new support services.
Link / Slack (h/t Sid Salvi)

BCBS North Carolina's Blue Premier program reported $164 million in savings in 2022, up from $130 million in 2021 and bringing the total savings since the program launched in 2019 to $650 million. While not all of BCBS efforts to drive the state to value have panned out, it's impressive to see this milestone come to pass just 4 years since the launch of Blue Premier.

Truepill reportedly is considering slashing the valuation of some shares by up to 90% from their peak in 2021, when the company was valued at $1.6 billion.
Link / Slack (h/t Ryan Stellar)

Venteur raised $7 million in Seed financing. The company is building a platform to help employers provide personalized health insurance plans to their employees.
Link / Slack (h/t Stacy Edgar)

Clinical research platform, Clinetic secured $5 million in Series A funding. To date, the startup has partnered with 12 health systems and plans to use the financing to expand partnerships with more hospitals and life sciences orgs.
Link / Slack

Healthcare staffing platform, Nursa, raised $80 million in Series B financing.

Microsoft and Epic announced they are expanding their AI collaboration to accelerate the impact of generative AI on healthcare. Current solutions being developed by the partners include, clinical note summarization, ambient clinical documentation, medical coding, and more.
Link / Slack (h/t Samir Unni)

Questa Capital, a healthcare-focused growth equity firm, raised $397 million for its third fund. The firm plans to deploy the fresh capital across three main sectors: healthcare services, technology, and medical devices.


Sharing a visual or two from the week that made us think

Source: 2023 Large Employers' Health Care Strategy & Plan Design Survey, Business Group on Health

The Business Group on Health recently published it 2023 Large Employers' Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey, which collected responses from 135 large employers, covering 18 million lives in the US. The survey dug into employers' views on a range of health care topics, including health equity, care delivery, pharmacy plan design, as well as 2023 costs and priorities. One particularly interesting finding is the change in employer enthusiasm around virtual care's impact on care delivery, with the percentage of employers that believe virtual care will have a significant impact on how care is delivered in the future dropping from 85% to 74% between 2021 and 2022. As the chart above denotes, the main concerns regarding virtual care include siloed care experiences for employees, lack of integration between vendors, quality of care, duplicative services, and more.

Source: Payer strategies for GLP-1 medications for weight loss, Milliman

Deana Bell and others at Milliman wrote a white paper discussing payor strategies for addressing GLP-1s, which included the interesting chart above highlighting the rapid growth in GLP-1 use across Commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid insurance in 2022.

Source: Trends in Cumulative Disenrollment in the Medicare Advantage Program, 2011-2020

This paper in JAMA Health Forum dives into Medicare Advantage disenrollment trends, highlighting how ~50% of MA members disenroll from their plans over a five year period. Interesting to see the breakdown of disenrollment trends across various plan characteristics. Not surprisingly, higher rated plans appear to have substantially lower disenrollment rates. More surprisingly, PPO plans seem to have substantially higher disenrollment rates than HMO plans.


A round-up of posts from the HTN community this week that made us think

Who Controls the Healthcare Spice? by Blake Madden

This was a great read from Blake diving into the rise of Medicaid care coordination company CareBridge - unpacking how the company became so powerful, the role of officials moving between public agencies and private markets to help that, and more.

Amazon’s Radical Plan For Healthcare: À La Carte Pricing by Katie Jennings

An interesting overview of how Amazon Clinic is testing its approach to ala carte pricing. While there is some skepticism in the form of an Ezekiel Emmanuel quote noting this won't actually move the needle in healthcare, there are several fascinating elements to the broader experiment worth reading in here as discussed in Slack.

The dummies guide to integrating LLMs and AIs into EHRs: Part 1 & 2 by Mark Olschesky

In this two part series (Part 1 and Part 2), Mark unpacks several commonalities and lessons he has learned through his work helping companies integrating LLMs and other AI-based technologies into clinician and EHR workflows.

Venturing in Senior Care: What's Happening in Post Acute Care? Part II: Providers by Daniel Kaplan

In this article, Daniel continues his series on the post-acute care market, this time focusing on the interests and incentives of providers in the space.

How to analyze public healthcare datasets (even if you're non-technical) by Bea Capistrant and Nikhil Krishnan

This is a good post detailing some publicly available healthcare datasets.