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THCB Reader -- June 15, 2021


THCB Reader

June 15 · Issue #118 · View online

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

Apologies for THCB Reader being a little tardy this week. The combination of California opening up, a whisky night and the Euro 2020 soccer championship is responsible for the delay. But if it had been on time I couldn’t have posted this, perhaps the best goal ever in any major soccer tournament. We’ll hopefully make it back to Saturday mornings this coming weekend!
Meanwhile, on THCB Jay T. Ripton breaks down “radiopharmaceuticals” and explains the boom in this field, Kim Bellard muses on SpaceX’s search for a Starship Medical Engineer and wonders who will step up to do the same for us on Earth, and Hans Duvefelt reminds us that algorithms can’t replace the art of medicine. 
Now for some interviews, Jess DaMassa got the scoop on UpHealth’s NYSE debut from CEO Ramesh Balakrishnan and President Jamey Edwards. We also have two episodes of Health in 2 Point 00 for you in which we cover some massive deals, including Transcarent already closing a Series B and One Medical acquiring Iora Health.
Meanwhile, on Thursday’s episode of THCB Gang, I was joined by regulars: medical historian Mike Magee (@drmikemagee), THCB regular writer Kim Bellard (@kimbbellard) and futurist Ian Morrison (@seccurve), as well as a special guest, health care equity analyst at Hedgeye, Emily Evans (@HedgeyeEEvans). 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.

And another note from my other life, WTF Health superstar Jess DaMassa & I are thrilled to announce a new digital health conference Policies, Techies & VCs: What’s Next For Health Care.
Confirmed speakers so far include Glen Tullman–CEO, Transcarent; Jonathan Bush–Executive Chairman, Firefly Health; Connie Chen–CMO, Lyra Health; Jeffrey Dachis–CEO, One Drop; Bill Tarranto–President, Merck GHIF; Kyle Armbrester–CEO, Signify Health and many more
Please visit our website What’s Next For Health Care to see about registration, speaking and sponsorship opportunities and hold the dates Sept 7-10
In this week’s health care tidbits, you may be wondering what happened to health policy under Joe Biden. He said no to Medicare for All because instead he was going to create a public option and lower the Medicare age to 60. Yet both those two policies seem to have vanished into the night. Presumably that’s because they think they’re a hard political sell and maybe that’s right.
But why? This past week a massive study of American consumers shows that Medicare recipients are much happier with their experience than people with employer-based coverage. And employer based coverage is no better than Medicaid! To wit, the study showed:
Compared with those covered by Medicare, individuals with employer-sponsored insurance were less likely to report having a personal physician and were more likely to report instability in insurance coverage, difficulty seeing a physician because of costs, not taking medication because of costs, and having medical debt. Compared with those covered by Medicare, individuals with employer-sponsored insurance were less satisfied with their care.
Compared with individuals covered by Medicaid, those with employer-sponsored insurance were more likely to report having medical debt and were less likely to report difficulty seeing a physician because of costs and not taking medications because of costs. No difference in satisfaction with care was found between individuals with employer-sponsored private health insurance and those with Medicaid coverage.
I guess the new AHIP slogan is, “we’re just as good as Medicaid!” But you have to wonder, why are the rest of us being forced to consume an inferior product?
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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June 14, Jay T. Ripton
It’s the beginning of a new wave of innovation for the diagnosis and treatment of certain cancers and other diseases. The new radiopharmaceutical boom quite literally has the life sciences industry in a nuclear arms race of sorts, as companies like Y-mAbs, Novartis and others are pushing through clinical trials for the next blockbuster for the treatment and detection of hard-to-treat diseases.
June 9, Kim Bellard
In case you missed it, SpaceX is hiring for what might be the coolest job title ever - Starship Medical Engineer. It’s an opportunity to rethink a broken system and design the medical system for Starship. But who is inventing not just the medical system of the future but the health system of the future – not just care but lifestyle and environment? 
June 7, Hans Duvefelt
The Art of Medicine is such a common phrase because, for many centuries, medicine has not been a cookie cutter activity. It has been a personalized craft, based on the science of the day, practiced by individual clinicians for diverse patients, one at a time. Knowing all the available medications intimately is infinitely more valuable to the patient than blindly following the treatment algorithm of the day – because we have all seen them come and go.
One Drop is reimagining chronic condition care. Learn more at
One Drop is reimagining chronic condition care. Learn more at
UpHealth Hits the NYSE: CEO & President on SPAC Merger Completion, Virtual Care Competition & More
#Healthin2Point00, Episode 214 | One Medical acquires Iora, plus funding for HumanFirst & many more
#Healthin2Point00, Episode 215 | Monogram, LetsGetChecked, Transcarent, Lenus, and Ada
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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