Jefferson Health partners with digital health venture capital firm
Jefferson Health on Monday announced an innovation partnership with General Catalyst, where the nonprofit healthcare system will be able to tap into a range of tech companies to support its digital transformation efforts.
Philadelphia-based Jefferson Health will have access to companies in the General Catalyst Medicare Network, a group that includes health technology companies in which the company has invested. Medicare describes a shift away from so-called âsickness careâ and towards a healthcare system that provides more proactive and preventive patient care.
Jefferson Health will leverage the network to identify and deploy tools that improve the patient experience and virtual care, ease its transition to value-based care, and diversify its revenue streams, among other goals. This includes integrating tools between companies and co-developing tools with them, rather than buying single products.
“While we are co-developing – and in some cases co-investing -[it] really creates a whole different model [for our innovation pillar]”said Dr. Stephen Klasko, CEO of Jefferson Health and President of Thomas Jefferson University, on a call with reporters Monday.
Klasko announced last week that he would be retiring at the end of the year.
The partnership builds on previous collaborations between Klasko and Hemant Taneja, Managing Partner of General Catalyst. Last year, Klasko and Taneja co-authored a book outlining their vision for Medicare and the need to move towards a system that prioritizes preventative care.
The new partnership is unrelated to Health Assurance Acquisition Corp., a specialist acquisition company that Klasko and Taneja formed with former Livongo executives last year, according to Taneja.
Jefferson Health is still in the “early stages” of partnering with General Catalyst and has yet to determine what the financial details of the work will look like, according to Patricia Wellenbach, chairman of the health system board. Ideally, the technologies and services resulting from this partnership will reduce the cost of care.
“We are exploring all the financial parameters that surround it,” she said. “There will be more details to come.”
General Catalyst’s health insurance network includes software companies like Commure, Olive, Tendo, and Transcarent. According to Taneja, General Catalyst intends to perform a program management function, helping to connect companies in the network so that their products can exchange data with each other and be part of an integrated ecosystem.
Tendo, a digital engagement company, launched with support from Jefferson Health and General Catalyst earlier this year. Jefferson Health works closely with Tendo and enlists the company to help it adapt or even create engagement tools for patients and clinicians when it identifies gaps it needs to fill, according to Klasko. This can fuel the development of new products that Tendo can sell to other customers in the healthcare system.
The partnership with Jefferson Health is part of General Catalyst’s effort to reinvent the way a venture capitalist works with finance companies and helps them build them.
âHealthcare transformation is too big for a single business, it’s really going to take an ecosystem,â Taneja said. “We are very grateful to the leadership at Jefferson for being partners in making this, first and foremost, here in Philadelphia, and then making it a model for the rest of the country.”
General Catalyst was the number one investor in digital health in the third quarter of 2021, according to data from Digital Health Business & Technology, as it participated in nine funding rounds. The company has enjoyed great success as an early-stage investor in Livongo – which has since been acquired by Teladoc Health – and Oscar, as well as an investor in companies like Airbnb, Grammarly, Kayak and Snap and Warby Parker outside of care. health.