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THCB Reader -- Nov 18, 2021


THCB Reader

November 18 · Issue #135 · View online

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

This is a special bumper issue of THCB reader but first–don’t miss today’s #THCBGang with Ian Morrison, Jeff Goldsmith, Vince Kuraitis and Lygeia Riccardi joining me. 1pm PT -4pm ET right here.
We missed a week of THCB Reader so we have a lot of articles. Grace Cordovano reflects on HLTH through the lens of patients and caregivers. Kim Bellard discusses quantum computing’s Sputnik moment, is concerned that tech can’t fix health care’s problems and thinks breaking up is good to do. Gail Peace interrogates what we can do to combat physician burnout, Hans Duvefelt wonders what’s behind the mask, Mike Magee asks what the right to health care is worth and even whether democracy can survive without health security.
Scroll down for interviews galore on on WTF Health! Jess DaMassa chats with Included Health CEO Owen Tripp about the integration of his 3 companies (Doctor on Demand, Grand Rounds, and Included Health). She gets the details behind new female-focused company, Pollie. Jess also talks to Kelli Bravo from Pega about their consumer survey, interviews CareCentrix CEO John Driscoll about their acquisition by Walgreens, and manages to squeeze in an interview with Glen Tullman from Transcarent to talk Walmart–you wouldn’t want us to leave him out, would you!? Oh and yes, just because he’s raised $900m Jess thought she’d chat with Olive’s Sean Lane too!
We even squeezed in one episode of Health in 2 Point 00 (and yes we are behind and will be catching up this coming week!)
Finally last week’s #THCBGang featured fierce patient activist Casey Quinlan (@MightyCasey); cardiologist & provocateur Anish Koka (@anish_koka); patient activist, author & entrepreneur Robin Farmanfarmaian (@Robinff3); and THCB regular writer Kim Bellard (@kimbbellard).
Don’t forget to listen any time—you can subscribe to #THCBGang and #Healthin2Point00 podcasts with an easy click on Apple or Spotify.

For my health care tidbits this week, I know you think I spend my life beating up on allegedly non-profit hospital systems acting like hedge funds, but I’ve found someone who’s seriously outdone me!
I have often said that Ascension makes about 3 times on its investments what it makes on its health care services. But STAT’s Rachel Cohrs has gone much further. In a remarkable investigation she found that Ascension isn’t just a hedge fund, it’s an activist private equity (PE) company too. And yes, it acts just as badly as you’d expect. Oh and its 2 former senior execs both moved over to run its offshore investment fund (earning $10m each) AND are executives at the PE firm it “partners” with.
Of course there’s the obligatory story about how while making all this money, Ascension shuttered a hospital used by poor people in Washington DC. But I am a little surprised that Cohrs didn’t mention that despite having $27 BILLION in “reserves” Ascension was happy to let the tax payer hand over $492m in emergency CARES funding in the first few moths of COVID. After all if it’s pouring, why use your rainy day fund if the idiot taxpayer will hand the cash over instead?!
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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One Drop is reimagining chronic condition care. Learn more at
One Drop is reimagining chronic condition care. Learn more at
How Unhappy are Patients with Info Coming from Providers, Payers? Pega’s Survey Shows It’s Not Good
CareCentrix CEO on Walgreens Taking Majority Stake, How Post-Acute Care Will Fair in Retail Health
Woman's Health Startup Pollie Wins Bayer G4A's Attention With Female-Focused Chronic Condition Play
Included Health's CEO Owen Tripp on Grand Rounds, Doctor-on-Demand Merger & New Name
Transcarent, Walmart & The “Re-making” of Healthcare Payers: Glen Tullman on the Power of Big Retail
Update from Olive: CEO Sean Lane on Putting $850M+ Funding to Work
#Healthin2Point00, Episode 240: Tebra, Notable, Wellinks, Aktiaa, and Enlace Health
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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