News 4/18/14

I’ve mentioned Oscar, the new tech-powered insurer in New York, a few times. It was gunning big for the insurance exchange there, but only enrolled 14,000 people during the open enrollment period, which is less than 2 percent of the people who enrolled in New York. I have to imagine that’s a major letdown for them. I think the value in Oscar will ultimately be in the technology it creates, so I’m interested to see if this result changes its trajectory.

News 4/18/14

Validic seems to be everywhere these days. Here’s a good local story on what they are doing in Durham. I had no idea they were growing so fast, currently with 16 people and growing by another 19 by the end of the year.

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Remember the Past or be Doomed to Repeat It

I had to Google that quote to figure out who said it first. Apparently the proper quote or original quote from George Santayana is, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." "Doomed" is often used in place of "condemned," but I prefer the ring of condemned because it’s more like a punishment for forgetting.

Why should we be thinking about the past? Health IT is booming and more is coming to healthcare. In many respects, healthcare is at a crossroads, with large shifts taking hold. Many of these shifts will be powered by new technology, technology-enabled services, and data-enabled services. Layer on top of all of this new rules — I’m hesitant to say “standards” because of the track record of HL7 standards being implemented in a standard way for data exchange and interoperability — and we’re at a crossroads as an industry.

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From Engagement to Relationships

StartupHealth announced its most recent batch of 16 startups as part of its "Healthcare Transformers" group this week. That brings the number of StartupHealth companies to 63 (or it may have been 63 before this infusion of 16 — it’s unclear in the press release.) The goal is to grow the number of transformers to 1,000 by 2020.

StartupHealth is an ongoing program rather than an accelerator. Companies get coaching and mentorship, but aren’t forced to move to another location and for 3-5 months. I don’t think there is any sort of demo or launch day event, either.

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What Can We Learn from Healthcare.gov?

Back in October after the initial launch of Healthcare.gov and online consumer registration, I wrote about the massive and overpriced failure. Healthcare.gov would have been too expensive even with amazing success, but that’s a product of government contracting and should not be a surprise.

To the credit of HHS, it did get Healthcare.gov working shortly after the launch. The news today and is that over seven million people registered for insurance through the site. That’s pretty amazing to me, especially given the delays in the fall with the launch. And supposedly 80-90 percent of registered users have paid.

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News 3/21/14

Former US Government CTO Aneesh Chopra is going to be working with Box on some of Box’s healthcare initiatives. Box has been pushing heavily into healthcare for almost a year, offering file sharing services with a business associate agreement (BAA); I’m hesitant to call it "compliant" file sharing services, but Box definitely does sign BAAs. Since leaving his post as US CTO, he’s also worked at The Advisory Board Company as a senior advisor.

News 3/21/14

Congrats to Gravie on closing $10.5 million in funding. The round was led by Aberdare. Gravie is a comparison site for individuals and business looking for insurance. This space is getting very busy, very fast. I was on a panel with Gravie co-founder Abir Sen a couple of weeks ago. The topic was fundraising in the Midwest and Abir discussed his preference in raising money on the coasts instead of the middle of the country. Gravie hadn’t announced this funding round at that time.

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