News roundup: Masimo has offer to JV consumer business for $950M or more, Get Well sold to SAI, One Medical scored on poor handling of urgent calls from Iora patients

Slow early July? Not quite.

Masimo’s maneuvering continues with a potential $950 million offer to buy into its consumer audio and health business. The unnamed offeree listed in Masimo’s latest Form 8-K is a potential joint venture (JV) investor negotiating with Masimo since 7 May. Masimo would sell off the majority stake of its consumer audio and consumer health businesses to the partner, that would make 1) a cash payment to Masimo and 2) contribute cash. The 2 July update confirms that the potential partner is offering in the range of $850 million to $950 million on a cash and debt free basis. It’s by no means a done deal as Masimo is pressing for more cash and for retaining certain intellectual property rights. For instance, Masimo’s IP would be for use solely within the consumer field, not healthcare. The Apple litigation on IP infringement on their pulse oximetry (SpO2) sensors and software would remain with Masimo.

The consumer audio business would include the international audio brands acquired in the $1 billion buy of Sound United in 2022: Bowers & Wilkins, Denon, Polk Audio, Marantz, Definitive Technology, Classé, and Boston Acoustics. Their consumer healthcare includes smartwatches and the Stork baby monitor.  MedTechDive

This is an interesting Act 3 Curtain Raiser to Masimo’s ongoing proxy fight with ‘activist investor’ Politan Capital Management, which is attempting to take two more seats on the board of directors and wrest control from the current board controlled by CEO/founder Joe Kiani. Hundreds of Masimo staff have threatened to resign if Politan takes over. The shareholder meeting is on 25 July. TTA 2 July

Get Well, a patient engagement platform, has been acquired by SAIGroup for an undisclosed amount. Get Well serves health plans and systems with patient engagement at point of care, digital care plans, and AI-enabled care navigation. SAI will integrate their existing advanced predictive + generative Eureka AI platform into Get Well’s offerings. SAIGroup has two other AI-related companies in its portfolio: ConcertAI and generative AI RhythmX AI. Michael O’Neil will continue as Get Well Founder and CEO. Release    Hat tip to HIStalk 7/10/24

A story highly critical of Amazon’s One Medical broke over the holiday weekend with a PBS News story about patients put at risk by sloppy call handling. The patients were former Iora Health members, acquired with One Medical, who are older 65+ adults in Medicare Advantage and Medicare Shared Savings Programs (MSSP) ACOs including the advanced ACO REACH model. In March, calls to Iora Health offices were shifted to what Amazon termed ‘mission control’ in Tempe, Arizona. The call center reps did not have access to their records and were not medically trained. The patients were calling with acute symptoms–one of 17 ‘red flag’ symptoms such as symptoms of a blood clot, sudden rib pain, stomach pain and blood in their stool. At the call center, they were not triaged to immediate assistance and instead were given appointments later that day or later in the week. Amazon is claiming that as far as they know, no patients were harmed. Becker’s

As TTA backgrounded on 6 March, the former Iora offices were rebranded, if not closed, as One Medical Senior and they would shift to existing One Medical offices. FTA: Existing patients, many with multiple chronic conditions, reported cutbacks in callbacks, appointment length, physician load, and services provided such as transportation. One clinic had 20 staff cut back to five with patients pushed out to virtual visits–hardly appropriate for a high needs, older, less technologically savvy patient population in value-based care, quality-measured models.

How will these high care needs patients in tightly monitored, intensive programs such as MA and ACO REACH, mesh with the cheap efficient approach that Amazon takes with everything–including One Medical?

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