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THCB Reader - Issue #32

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THCB Reader

December 5 · Issue #32 · View online
Everything you always wanted to know about the health care system. But were afraid to ask.

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On today’s edition of the THCB Reader, Yolonda Wilson addresses the biases that contribute to black patients receiving substandard care and the negative behavioral traits that are attributed to them by medical personnel; I argue that today’s health tech VCs have run into “the Lynne Chou O’Keefe Fallacy”, an illusion that health incumbents are doing better financially because they are able to harness the best parts of health tech platforms and produce change, when in fact they are still making money the old-fashioned way (monopolies, ramped up drug prices, and collections); and Ameya Kulkarni believes in order to truly reduce the mortality rate of American women in childbirth, the industry as a whole needs to look at the nuances in data, and clinicians, patients, and the government need to advocate for women at risk. I also talk to Mike McSherry, CEO of Xealth, about how his company facilitates adoption of a vast ranges of digital health services by making it easy for providers to prescribe & track engagements levels. And Jess speaks with Sean Duffy, CEO of Omada Health, on his idea around building a complete digital care provider for people with chronic condition management. On Health in 2 Point 00, Jess and I discuss Outcome Health’s FBI investigation, the launch of Vital, a new EHR company (seriously?), and Amazon launching a transcribing tool for clinicians - Matthew Holt

Dec 5, Yolonda Wilson
Last week a nurse posted a video of herself on Twitter mocking patients with the caption “We know when y’all are faking” followed by laughing emojis. While the nurse’s video was not explicitly radicalized, plenty in the black community felt a particular sting: there is clear evidence that this attitude contributes to the problem of black patients receiving substandard care, and that negative behavioral traits like faking or exaggerating symptoms are more likely to be attributed to black patients. Medical personnel do not leave their biases at the door when they enter healthcare spaces and don their scrubs. Addressing these biases is essential and states need to do more to save lives. 

Dec 4, Matthew Holt 
Rob Coppedge and Bryony Winn wrote an interesting piece in Xconomy this week. I told Rob (& the world) on Twitter that it was good but wrong, because it encompasses something I dubbed “the Lynne Chou O’Keefe Fallacy”. There’s an illusion out there that the health care incumbents have been doing well financially because they are able to take the best of the digital health tech platforms and change what they are doing. But no one who looks at the US health care system can possibly believe that the incumbents have changed their behavior to adopt the consumer friendly ethos of the digital health tech crowd. They are still making money by creating monopolies, ramping up drug prices, and aggressively pursuing patients for collections. When Jeff Bezos came to pitch John Doerr to invest in Amazon, did he explain how he was going to build a system to help Barnes & Noble sell more books? No, he came to put those companies out of business. Where are the VCs who want to invest in today’s health care equivalent?

Dec 3, Ameya Kulkarni
When earlier this year, new statistics on the rate of maternal death were released and suggested that American women died at three times the rate of other developed countries during childbirth, doctors, patient advocates, and even Congress seemed willing to move heaven and earth to fix the problem. But beyond the certainty of the headlines lay the nuance of the data, which seemed to tell a murkier story. Ignoring these nuances enables well-meaning people to create broad policies that have the potential for more harm than good. We need to acknowledge the complexity of the issue of maternal mortality in order to shift focus to the actions that give clinicians, patients, and caregivers the tools to really advocate for women at risk.
Livongo is working to #SilenceNoisyHealthcare. Visit for more details.
Livongo is working to #SilenceNoisyHealthcare. Visit for more details.
THCB Spotlights: Mike McSherry, CEO of Xealth
THCB Spotlights: Mike McSherry, CEO of Xealth
Will Omada Health be Digital Health’s Next Big IPO? | Sean Duffy, Omada Health
Will Omada Health be Digital Health's Next Big IPO? | Sean Duffy, Omada Health
Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 101 | FBI Scandals, EHR Competitors, & Amazon
Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 101 | FBI Scandals, EHR Competitors, & Amazon
The Health Care Blog The Health Care Blog
The Health Data Goldilocks Dilemma: Sharing? Privacy? Both? - The Health Care Blog
Applications are Open for GuideWell’s 2020 Scale Up Accelerator: Aging in Place
GuideWell is proud to announce the 2020 Scale Up Accelerator: Aging in Place. With research suggesting that seniors are happier and healthier when they remain in their homes instead of assisted care facilities, GuideWell is sourcing solutions that empower seniors to maintain active and healthy lifestyles, while reducing the burden on their family members and caregivers. 
10 health tech companies focused on senior care initiatives will be chosen to participate in an 8 week accelerator program that will run from January 23rd, 2020-March 9th, 2020, culminating in an invaluable Investor Matchmaking Showcase.  
If you have a solution that improves the overall physical and emotional wellness of seniors across the nation, here’s why you should participate: 
  • Access to GuideWell’s national network of experienced health/wellness experts and technology entrepreneurs as mentors
  • Access to health care organizations within Orlando’s Lake Nona medical city and other health care organizations as customer prospects
  • Curated 2-day boot camp followed by a series of virtual workshops that focus on challenges in health care industry customer acquisition, regulatory compliance and other health care specific business topics
  • Opportunity to present at GuideWell’s curated heath tech investor matchmaking event 
Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity! Applications close December 8th, 2019
We hope you enjoyed the pieces and videos we had for you today. As always, if you have a piece you would like us to consider, please email and if you are looking to reach 20K of the smartest people in health care on this newsletter, or 80-100K each month on the site, please think of sending some of your marketing $$$ our way! Here’s our prospectus.

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