Bright Health Group switches off, takes on NeueHealth name. Now that Bright Health has sold its remaining operating health plans to Molina Healthcare [TTA 3 Jan] with others closed down or insolvent like Texas [TTA 12 Dec 23], they have smartly pivoted to the name of their remaining value-based primary care operation, NeueHealth. (Inexpensive, too) Accordingly, on 29 January, their NYSE listing will convert from BHG to NEUE. The stock value closed today at $13.25, well down from its 52-week high of $79.04. NeueHealth’s operations are divided into NeueCare, which is comprised of their owned clinics and partnerships with affiliated providers, and NeueSolutions, which is a management services entity that organizes independent providers and physician groups into performance-based ACA Marketplace, Medicare, and Medicaid-based ACOs models, including the advanced performance ACO REACH program which covered 60,000 beneficiaries in 2023. Unsurprisingly, the company HQ is moving from chilly Minneapolis to much warmer Doral, Florida, nearer to three of their major clinic networks and 150,000 of its claimed 275-295,000 ‘health consumers’ forecast for 2023. 2023 revenue forecasts for NeueCare are $250-275 million and NeueSolutions $890 million. They have also stated that the corporate move will not affect jobs remaining in Minneapolis, which may be few.
As to the bills coming due for CMS liabilities and debt owed to New Enterprise Associates now that JP Morgan has been paid…not a word. We continue to hand it to Bright, now NeueHealth, for the Best Gordian Knots in Healthcare. Release, Healthcare Dive
Patient records exposed in data breaches doubled in 2023 versus 2022. According to an analysis by cybersecurity firm Fortified Health Security of HHS’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR), which tracks data breaches, in 2023 there were 116 million patient records exposed, topping the over 100 million of 2015, with over 655 breaches, a decrease from 2022’s peak of 721. Of that 116 million, over 112 million were from three health plan breaches: Anthem, Premera Blue Cross, and Excellus, Ten-year total? A stunning 489 million. What also increased over those 10 years by 143% were breaches stemming from business associates–vendors providing services to the covered entity. The just-published Horizon Report (free, available for download here) also reveals that the average recovery cost for a breach is $9.48 million. And health plans and systems are cutting IT staff? Healthcare Dive
One way that hackers are finding their way into healthcare organizations is via ‘social engineering’, but not always of employees. They’re targeting business associates at revenue cycle management (RCM) companies serving health systems and hospitals. The American Hospital Association is warning members that hackers are cannily evolving their tactics to defeat security procedures such as multi-factor authentication and they have to anticipate hacker tactics. From Becker’s, hackers “steal the identities of revenue cycle employees or other finance staffers, calling IT help desks and correctly answering security questions. They then request to reset their passwords and enroll new devices, getting full access to the employees’ accounts and diverting payments to fraudulent bank accounts.” These are based in the US and then diverted overseas. The AHA recommends at minimum a call back to the employee on these new device enrollments, a call to the person’s supervisor, or as in the case of one health system, a physical appearance at the help desk. AHA article
Amazon enters the chronic care management field through a tried-and-true (for them) vector–e-commerce. Search for a health device like a glucose monitor, a blood pressure cuff, or pulse oximetry, and receive a ‘direction’ to a management service that they may be eligible for at no or low cost through their employer or private health insurance. The kickoff partner with Amazon is chronic care management company Omada Health in the diabetes prevention, diabetes, and hypertension categories. Omada claims 20 million eligible members across 1,900 enterprises. This mode may get better traction with Amazon shoppers than directly providing them with health services such as Amazon Pharmacy, One Medical (primary care), and Amazon Clinic (asynchronous telemedicine). Omada didn’t disclose the revenue model. Omada release, Healthcare Dive
Wrapping up the JP Morgan healthcare conference, the New Reality permeated it, even if some didn’t want to admit it. As this Editor projected back in December, the board is being cleared of the also-rans and never-should-have-beens. You see a general cleansing of the cant and hype infecting a sector, which is initially unnerving. We are cycling through this stage fairly rapidly to emerge…where, we don’t quite know yet. Unlike some other publications, MedCityNews can never be mistaken for an industry cheerleader (even if you have to read between the lines). Their extensive coverage confirmed this emerging view of 2024.
- Katie Adams didn’t make it to SF for her article on nine JPM takeaways, but she sussed out that life sciences isn’t ready for AI, GLP-1 drugs won’t solve obesity, transactional telehealth for urgent and behavioral care is over, founders are trying to figure out fundraising timelines, and retail clinics are suddenly Not All That. And more.
- Arundhati Parmar profiled a company—one of all too many–that cycled from high to low–Butterfly Health. They started in 2011 to develop the first point-of-care handheld ultrasonic probe using a semiconductor chip that connected to a smartphone, became a unicorn by 2018, went public via a SPAC in 2021 at over $19, cracked hard, and now trades around $1. Their new CEO used the JPM platform to explain that their 2023 revenue slide wasn’t so bad because they were working their way through the longer-than-they-ever-imagined adoption curve by cutting $200 million in costs out of the company and building up their cash reserve. They may survive, or not, given that competition has names like GE Healthcare, Philips, and Siemens. But their ideas around selling the technology of the semiconductor chip to healthcare companies outside of ultrasound and opening their POCUS to developers (like Apple) are clever. It sounds like a company that could fit into a PE portfolio, if only some wallets and checkbooks opened.
And another marker of the New Reality: Scripps Health in San Francisco, hit hard by a cyberattack in 2021, announced at JPM that they hired Todd Walbridge, recently retired from the FBI as their supervising agent in their San Diego cybersecurity hub, as senior director for corporate and system safety and security. He had worked with Scripps on their cyberattack during his diverse career with the FBI. Mr. Walbridge is not only in charge of cyber, but also of physical security as workplace violence and assaults on staff have soared. FierceHealthcare
And we’ll wind up with some fundings, modest ‘green shoots’ in winter:
- Vita Health, based in Connecticut, secured $22.5 million from seven investors for their suicide prevention and therapeutic telehealth platform. An 2022 seed raise totaled $8.38 million. Release, Mobihealthnews
- Turquoise Health, based in San Diego, gained a $30 million Series B investment from four investors for expansion of its healthcare pricing platform used by 160 healthcare organizations. 2021-22 seed and Series A raises totaled $25 million. Price transparency is a 2024 hot button issue from government to enterprises to payers. Release, FierceHealthcare
- CardioSignal raised another $10 million in a Series A from three investors, bringing total funding to $23 million. Based in Finland and Palo Alto, CardioSignal uses a smartphone’s accelerometer and gyroscope sensors to analyze precordial micro-vibrations caused by cardiac motion. The initial analysis is completed in one minute and after a transfer to their cloud site for additional analysis, is returned in about one minute. Release, Mobihealthnews