Investing & Startups| May 8, 2018
Another Unlikely Partnership in Healthcare: Venture Capitalists and the Greater Good
One venture capital firm is taking on economic disparity in healthcare, and bringing modern care to the underserved masses.
Town Hall Ventures, led by former Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Andy Slavitt and his partners, has already started investing in companies that provide modern, healthcare services at a lower cost. Seeing the urgent need to provide high-quality care to the nearly 120 million Medicare and Medicaid participants, Slavitt and company “seek to partner with entrepreneurs who are as passionate as [they] are about changing our healthcare system.”
Contrary to the typical investment strategies venture capitalist utilize, Town Hall Ventures is bringing the greater good into the ROI equation.
An unlikely partnership?
While this partnership might come as a surprise to some, it really shouldn’t. In recent months, we’ve seen a multitude of seemingly unlikely partnerships pop up across the healthcare space, from FitBit and Google to Walmart and Humana. Non-healthcare entities are getting involved in the industry and it seems only logical that venture capitalists would want in on the action, too.
Adding to this unconventional pairing, Town Hall Ventures isn’t planning its investments based on the potential for big returns like your typical VC firm; its goals are slightly more altruistic than simply boosting their bottom-line.
The firm is capitalizing on the “opportunity to shift investment away from nice-to-have ideas to proven solutions that improve care for populations that have long been underserved. And by doing so, improve health and cost outcomes for everyone.”
For those organizations focused on supporting the massive, underserved communities of this country, or what Town Hall Ventures calls “mission-driven entrepreneurs,” there may be previously untapped financial and operational support from investors.
Companies that have already garnered attention and investment from Town Hall Ventures include those operating in biopharma analytics, chronic kidney care, supply purchasing and management, and medical and social services for PACE participants.
Cityblock Health is one such company. Described as a personalized health system serving “qualifying Medicaid and Medicare members who live in city neighborhoods that have traditionally gone without good health services, ” it has already gained new-found access to advice from management, technology and regulatory experts, with support from Slavitt, his partners and the Town Hall Ventures community.
While not planning to lead any funding rounds, Town Hall Ventures hopes to bring much needed attention to these mission-driven enterprises and spark the interest of other investors, while also helping them realize the tangible value these companies provide.
If other VCs follow this lead, we could see a surge in the delivery of high-quality healthcare to struggling, underserved populations.