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THCB Reader -- July 3, 2021


THCB Reader

July 3 · Issue #122 · View online

Everything you always wanted to know about the health care system. But were afraid to ask.

This week on THCB Reader, Kim Bellard says we need more macro AI approaches, Mike Magee considers where academic medicine and investors alike should be going in health tech, and Hans Duvefelt writes about the questionable efficacy of supplements.
We have a lot of video content for you this week. On WTF Health, Jess DaMassa gets the scoop from Sharecare CEO, Jeff Arnold, right before $SHCR hit the stock market on July 2nd. Jess also chats with Glen Tullman, who’s invented yet another category with fast-growing Transcarent, the ‘health experience company.’ Next, on THCB Spotlight, I interview Subha Airan-Javia, the CEO of CareAlign, and get a demo of their workflow solution. Finally, we have two episodes of Health in 2 Point 00 where we cover lots of deals, including Olive’s massive $400 million raise and Ro acquiring Kit.
Meanwhile, on Thursday’s episode of THCB Gang, I was joined by policy consultant/author Rosemarie Day (@Rosemarie_Day1); THCB Editor and soon-to-be medical student at Yale, and first time #THCBGang participant Christina Liu (@ChristinayLiu) and–making a rare but welcome appearance –venture investor & soccer mogul Marcus Whitney @marcuswhitney. We had a wide-ranging chat about Medicaid, venture capital, and the unnecessarily excessive rigors of applying to medical school, and what that means for health equity. Click here to see it.
And of course to listen any time you can subscribe to #THCBGang and #Healthin2Point00 podcasts with an easy click on Apple or Spotify.

More on our new digital health conference Policies, Techies & VCs: What’s Next For Health Care.
This week we added 16 MORE speakers including 2 publicly-traded digital health company CEOs! The new speakers are Ashwini Zenooz, MD (Commure), Owen Tripp (Grand Rounds), Daniel Brillman (Unite Us), Steve Yaskin (Health Gorilla), Paul Johnson (Lemonaid Health), Russ Johannesson (Glooko), Arif Nathoo (Komodo Health), Sean Duffy (Omada Health), Mario Schlosser (Oscar), Jim Pursley (Hinge Health), Rajeev Singh (Accolade), Stephanie Strong (Bouler Care), Anil Sethi (Ciitizen), Peter Hames (Big Health), #TimBarry (VillageMD) & Abner Mason (ConsejoSano).  
Please visit our website What’s Next For Health Care to see the full list and learn about registration, speaking and sponsorship opportunities and hold the dates Sept 7-10.
Oh, and next week we are announcing 16 more speakers! (You get where this is going, don’t you….)
In this week’s health care tidbits, a little bit of light was shone on two of the dirty tricks health insurers play. First San Diego is suing Molina, Centene (owner of Healthnet) & Kaiser for misleading patients about which providers are in their networks. Apparently Healthnet & Kaiser’s directories were 35% inaccurate and Molina’s 80%! Now this may be incompetence, but it is not only false advertising, it’s also a way of weeding out high cost patients who may leave when they can’t find a specialist that will take them–and of course avoiding a high cost patient is a nice earner for health plans.
The next trick is double billing. In this lawsuit unearthed by Bob Herman of Axios, Aetna which was being paid to manage an employer’s health network subbed out PT care to an Optum network. Optum then also charged an admin fee. Meaning the provider got less and the patient had to pay more. So while Aetna and United Healthgroup may appear to be fierce competitors, they’re happy to cooperate when it comes to ripping off their clients.
More bad behavior by health plans and I didn’t even mention them cheating on Medicare Advantage RAFs! But the CEO of Chenmed did.
If we are going to let health insurers profit from handling employer and taxpayer business, we should see those arrangements in the clear light of day. Time for some heavy handed Federal regulation, methinks.
Follow me on Twitter @boltyboy and THCB at @thcbstaff for more similar insights/nonsense (and even the occasional sensible idea)! Enjoy! – Matthew Holt
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July 1, Kim Bellard
Right now, much A.I. work in healthcare seems to be focused primarily on granular problems, such as diagnosing specific diseases. But our health is usually not confined within service lines. We need more macro A.I. approaches; we might need A.I. to tell us how A.I. can not just improve our healthcare but also to “fix” our healthcare system.
June 28, Mike Magee
Technology has the power to assist us in healing, providing health and keeping our nation and global family whole. But it’s capacity to deliver on this promise is dependent on a vision for health that is both broad and inclusive. Academic medical leaders and health technology investors may find common ground in asking the question, “How does my support for this proposed technology project make America and all Americans healthy?
July 2, Hans Duvefelt 
Even things that sound like a good idea often turn out to be not so good, or even downright bad for you. In this article, Hans gives his take on vitamins and supplements as a primary care physician. 
One Drop is reimagining chronic condition care. Learn more at
One Drop is reimagining chronic condition care. Learn more at
#Healthin2Point00, Episode 220 | Olive's massive raise, Ro buys Kit, plus funding for Tendo & SWORD
#Healthin2Point00, Episode 219 | Health Catalyst acquires Twistle, Hims acquires Apostrophe, & more
Sharecare ($SHCR) Hits NASDAQ Tomorrow, CEO Jeff Arnold on Closing the SPAC IPO
Did Glen Tullman Just Launch Another New Category? Transcarent the 'Health Experience Company’
CareAlign, fixing that physician workflow--demo & interview
Hope you enjoyed the newsletter. As ever let me know if you have any comments or want to sponsor/advertise–this newsletter doesn’t write itself but about 17,000 people get it and 80-100K visit the blog every month!
Matthew Holt
Matthew Holt
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