THCB Reader -- June 5, 2021





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THCB Reader

June 5 · Issue #117 · View online

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

This week on THCB Reader, Mike Magee traces the U.S. NIH’s involvement with a Wuhan lab, Ellie Stang discusses structural racism impacting America’s babies, and Hans Duvefelt spotlights inefficiencies around phone calls in the clinic. 
We have two episodes of Health in 2 Point 00 for you in which we cover some massive deals, including Babylon’s SPAC IPO and Thirty Madison reaching unicorn status.
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 health futurist Jeff Goldsmith; WTF Health host & Health IT girl Jessica DaMassa (@jessdamassa) snuck in later. Click here to see it.
And of course to listen any time you can subscribe to #THCBGang (which was off this week but has 50+ great episodes) 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. While there are big conferences about enterprise health IT, and others featuring the health care incumbents while they try to do innovation and look cool, there’s a void in the conference scene. Who are the CEOs of the next generation of virtual & real-life care delivery and all the permutations thereof? Who are the companies raising all that venture money and really getting to scale? That’s the crowd you’ll see at Policies, Techies & VCs: What’s Next For Health Care.
There’ll also be policy people from DC, leading venture investors and a whole gaggle of influencer/analyst types, and some smaller, newer companies doing demos (you may remember Matthew hosting a conference with a lot of demos, once upon a time…).
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, I can’t quite leave the $3.5bn Babylon Health SPAC investor document alone. Yes, it’s crazy but not as crazy as you might think. Essentially it’s saying that it’s going to be a better tech enabled version of Oak Street or Agilon. Babylon has put less effort into the medical group management side of the puzzle than Oak Street or Agilon but it hasn’t done nothing. It’s been running GP clinics in the UK for years and now has two Medicare Advantage networks in California w 52k lives. It only did $79m in rev in 2020 but that was presumably mostly in software. They’re aiming for $320m in rev in 2021 (presumably mostly from the medical groups) & $710m in 2022.
In comparison Oak Street’s forecast is $1.3bn in 2021 and $2bn in 2022. So Babylon is shooting to be 25% of its size. Today’s Oak Street market cap is ~$14,5bn, so 25% of that is close to the $3.5bn Babylon is trying to get investors to pay.
Then there’s the story, which is that the bot tech can reduce all types of patient health spend which will increase the margin. Of course their actual mileage may vary. I do love the chart from their investor prez, which not only assumes that they can reduce medical spend abut also that they get to keep those savings long term. I’m not sure the “Partner” in the chart below will be as convinced.
This was the cause of much hilarity on this week’s #THCBGang .
As I said crazy but not completely crazy. And you never know, maybe better care?
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 4, Mike Magee
Eighteen months into a disaster that has claimed 3.5 million lives around the globe, and the truth is seeping out. Human error likely caused the Covid pandemic, and America’s Medical-Industrial Complex was right in the middle of it. Mike traces the evolution of risky research studies on coronaviruses—funded by the U.S.’s National Institutes of Health. 
June 2, Ellie Stang
In this article, Ellie breaks down how structural racism and implicit bias impact America’s babies, even prior to birth. Health inequities in America mean that overwhelmingly, Black women and their infants are the ones impacted. To address health inequities we must begin with our babies. It takes all of us to create change, so here are three steps individuals and care teams can put into action today.  
June 3, Hans Duvefelt
The telephone used to be a powerful tool, connecting people with businesses, services and each other. It no longer works like it used to, because nobody’s answering. When everybody is talking about patient centeredness, customer experience and such things, why isn’t it obvious that incoming calls and other types of requests need to be prioritized as they arrive and not just dumped, unsorted, in someone’s voicemail or inbox? . 
One Drop is reimagining chronic condition care. Learn more at
One Drop is reimagining chronic condition care. Learn more at
#Healthin2Point00, Episode 213 | Babylon's SPAC IPO, plus big raises for Thirty Madison & Intrinsic
#Healthin2Point00, Episode 212 | DayTwo, Hello Heart, Pack4U, and Curebase
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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