This piece in slate business examines the potential conflicts of interest that health insurers can create when investing in health technology companies to which doctors then refer patients, to the benefit of both the insurer and the companies to which they invest. look at the recent mega-merger of Headspace and Ginger, and the venture capital investments they secured from Cigna Ventures and Kaiser Permanente Ventures, the namesake venture capital arms of two health insurance giants. “By sending its customers to Ginger, Cigna was also increasing the number of users of the platform and maximizing its return on investment. This certainly carries the appearance of a conflict of interest, with the potential to influence the quality of care for patients,” the doctors wrote. “Seeing this play out, we started to wonder: is it ethical for health insurance companies to invest in healthcare startups – and if it continues, what guardrails should be put in place? ?”