Today, three health care industry leaders announced the formation of Town Hall Ventures, a venture capital firm that will seek to invest in health care technology and service companies transforming care delivery to America’s most vulnerable populations. The firm is being built on a foundation of broad and deep expertise in building companies to improve care in Medicare, Medicaid, risk-based care, complex conditions and in addressing social determinants of health. These areas of focus touch almost 120 million Americans and approximately $1.2 trillion in annual health care spending.
Oxeon, in partnership with Intermountain Healthcare, is pleased to announce the launch of Empiric Health, a company that will offer a program to enable evidence-based care. Empiric is a technology-enabled service that will address variation in healthcare costs and outcomes for both clinicians and health system administrators.
Adam Boehler, Founder and CEO of Landmark Health, visited Oxeon's New York office for a Coffee Talk to share his insights on leadership and entrepreneurship.
If we're not careful, our "recruiting shtick" for Landmark Health can roll off the tongue too easily. Too mindlessly. Too nonchalantly. A conversation with executives in the market usually goes something like this: "Yes...Landmark provides care for incredibly vulnerable patients, those with 6 or more co-morbidities...the frailest and most sick...compassion is most important..." And inevitably, later the conversation turns to "yes...they're backed by a leading private equity firm... typically executive compensation is base, bonus, and equity... they have one of the best CEOs we know in the industry." Then, there is an extended, pregnant pause as executives on the other end of the line process what they have just heard. This "double-bottom line" realization is a big deal.
Mission-driven health care companies are a big deal.
Landmark Health is driven by a clearly articulated company mission statement. In discussing their mission, Adam Boehler, CEO, shared "we are resolute in our delivery of high quality, comprehensive and compassionate care to individuals, wherever they reside and whenever they need it." At Grand Rounds, there is a very palpable mission, but it's more broad. Owen Tripp, CEO and Co-Founder of Grand Rounds, expressed a desire to "create a world where all patients can access expert medical advice to improve their lives." Oxeon's mission is to Make People Healthier, and everyone here embodies it on a daily basis.
While Grand Rounds is less explicit in its mission statement, don't confuse a lack of packaging for lack of rigor. Before every meeting, the company shares a story about a patient, reinforcing why Grand Rounds exists. Sometimes it is an employee who conveys the experience. Sometimes an executive. Sometimes the company brings one of its patients to the meeting to explain how Grand Rounds helped them. In every meeting, the company mission is powerfully reaffirmed.
In a recent conversation, Owen shared:
"You have to ruthlessly uphold the mission, especially when the dollars get bigger, and you start enjoying more commercial success. When certain executives make decisions that may be viewed as practical and expedient in other companies, those same decisions may compromise mission at ours. Employees are watching. They watch to see if your personnel actions back up your words; if your sales decisions back up your words. It's not enough to just launch with a great mission – you have to actively live and abide by it in all facets of the organization, every day and in every decision."
By all indications, from the way the company conducts its business and to the demonstrable success they've enjoyed, the mission at Grand Rounds is fundamentally understood by every single person who goes to work there. An employee once hung up on Owen to answer a patient call. Now it's common practice to cut internal meetings or conversations short to prioritize patients.
We asked Owen how the mission at Grand Rounds is embraced by the venture and private equity investors who sit on his Board of Directors. Our assumption was that most likely the mission at their institutional investment firms are divergent from the one present at Grand Rounds. Owen replied that "they are incredibly supportive of our Mission and the decisions we make... but I wonder whether that is because we have experienced great results from those decisions. I sometimes think whether it would be different if our results were different... less patience for mission-driven decision making. I find myself knowing that our results are BECAUSE of these decisions – they are inextricably linked and so I believe our investors will continue to be fully aligned with our mission and still fulfill their investment objectives."
Mission Works. Why? Mission helps attract great people to your company and gives them a reason to care beyond the company's financial performance. While mission attracts great people, it also gives them a decision-making framework that inspires them. It gives them something to go home feeling great about each night. (Side note: When Trevor's kids were younger, they thought he was a doctor. He would go home, and they would ask – as little kids do – what Dad did that day. He would say "We made people healthier." Ahhhhh, Dad's a doctor! If you know Trevor, thank goodness that's not the case...) Mission brings an entire organization together towards a common goal that is greater than any one individual, leading to an "engaged" workforce. This has been proven to lead to great companies that perform exceptionally well.
But a Mission has to be authentic. It can't be mandated from the top, and it can't exist to sell business. A well-conceived mission resonates because it works. And too often "bottom line" conversations are binary, leading to a distinction of whether the company is for-profit or non-profit. It's the wrong question and a meaningless distinction. A company's tax status doesn't drive its potential impact. Rather, it is the mission, leaders, business plan, creativity, and culture that matter. In fact, not only does Mission matter, but a mission-orientation gives a company an opportunity to be truly disruptive – a chance to achieve that "double bottom line," or in more relevant healthcare jargon, the "triple aim."
As you saw (if not, watch this!), purpose and meaning are clear drivers for Adam at Landmark Health and are motivating factors for the entirety of their team. Landmark Health exists to provide better, in-home care to the most vulnerable of patients. It's the reason a Nurse Practitioner responds to a 3 am house call; it's the reason the technology and innovation teams travel to remote areas to test new telehealth products. It's why client satisfaction and clinical outcomes are the most important criteria by which the executive team measures success. Net savings is a positive byproduct of this work, but more compelling is that Landmark is providing a fundamentally different—and more effective—clinical experience for patients.
At Oxeon, our mission to Make People Healthier was consciously conceived to be all-encompassing. That starts with us as individuals and as team members. This consciousness helps us identify, align and be part of our clients' end goals rather than just fulfilling a discrete part of their needs. On Day One of our new employee training, as we orient our people around how to think beyond being a service provider, investor or entrepreneur, we examine our mission statement and how it serves to align the work we do. In a recent employee engagement survey, 100% of Oxeon employees indicated that they completely understood our mission and values, and strongly agreed that our company lives by them in all of our decision-making.
As we expand and incorporate new business lines and add new senior leadership, we're working as hard as ever to keep our mission, our values, and our people at the center of what we do. We were recently given an opportunity to be deeply involved in a project that could have a substantial impact on patients who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer. The opportunity may negatively impact our operating income but profits did not factor into our decision to get involved. In fact, we consciously acknowledged the potential for loss and eagerly signed up to go forward in the name of our mission. While you are reading this article, 25% of our company is in a village in Guatemala delivering healthcare and building a clinic, all to Make People Healthier.
Mission enables us to do the "right thing," even when it does not appear to be the "profitable thing." These decisions empower us. Our employee engagement continues to grow, as we see in every quarterly culture survey. Applying our mission to every single person inside the company, to our clients and services, and to our investments and their objectives, is consistently aligning and empowering.
We call lots of health care leaders every year, and even if they're not interested in the role or the idea we're discussing, Oxeon's mission resonates. Landmark Health's mission resonates. Grand Rounds' mission resonates. And it's not just a catchy message up on the office wall. As companies like Landmark Health and Grand Rounds continue providing better care more cost-effectively, we all will continue to realize the power of Mission-driven companies, and most importantly patients will benefit from their care.
Trevor, the Founder and CEO of Oxeon Holdings, and Jacob, Director at Oxeon Partners, are committed to helping mission-driven healthcare leaders and executives build successful companies. Trevor, in his A.D.D-fueled existence as an entrepreneur, has started or turned-around 10 companies. It was only in this most recent chapter of his career, in starting Oxeon, that he fully discovered and realized the power of a Mission and Values driven organization. It is no coincidence that this chapter is the most enjoyable one to date. Jacob comes to Oxeon after working on the portfolio team at a national social venture philanthropy, and prior at a policy and research organization, committed to understanding what works to improve the lives of the most vulnerable kids and families. Trevor and Jacob are based in New York, NY.
Oxeon is pleased to announce the placement of Kim LaFontana as Chief Product Officer at Docent Health. Kim has previously served as a Managing Director at The Advisory Board Company and in Operations and Corporate Development roles at athenaHealth. Docent Health's mission is to help health systems build and retain lasting patient relationships. Docent was founded and launched out of Oxeon's Venture Studio.
New health insurance startup Bright Health today announced it has secured $80 million in Series A funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners and New Enterprise Associates (NEA), with participation by Flare Capital Partners and others. Bright Health will use the funding to support its nationwide rollout to the individual health insurance marketplace. Click here for more information >>>
Simeon Schindelman has joined Brighton Health Plan Services as the Chief Executive Officer. Previously, Simeon was CEO and Chairman at Bloom Health and in executive roles at Medica Health Plans and UnitedHealthcare. Brighton Health Group is a healthcare enterprise dedicated to developing innovative products that align the interests of healthcare providers, employers and other plan sponsors, families, and payers. Their portfolio includes Oxeon client Privia Health, MagnaCare & DWELL Family Doctors. Click here for more information >>>
"I think health systems are starting to transform the way they think about patients, to think about them more as consumers and start providing services to them as they might experience in other industries. These services could include online access and making easier appointments or referrals. Healthcare systems need more real-time feedback on whether they are doing a great job with the patient and the patient experience. Part of the technology we’re building helps them focus on that and helps understand the patient sentiment throughout the journey." - Paul Roscoe, CEO, Docent Health Read the article here >>>
Oxeon is pleased to announce the placement of Brian Drozdowicz as Executive Vice President of Product Management at Verisk Health. Brian joins from Caradigm, where he served as Senior Vice President & GM, Population Health and Analytics. Verisk Health is transforming the business of healthcare by providing data services, analytics, and advanced technologies that answer the industry’s most complex challenges. Verisk Health is a subsidiary of Verisk Analytics.
Oxeon clients Omada Health, Bright Health Plan, VillageMD, Quartet Health, and Aspire Health figure prominently in Ezekiel Emanuel's Fortune article on "How Obamacare is Changing the Startup World". Read the article here >>>
Dan Orenstein joins the Health Catalyst executive team as General Counsel. Dan has spent the past 10 years at athenahealth where he most recently served as General Counsel, Senior Vice President, and Board Secretary. Health Catalyst uses data analytics and warehousing technology to help health systems leverage their data to improve quality of care, increase efficiency and optimize costs. Click here for more information >>>
Quartet Health, a leading healthcare technology company partnering with health plans and providers to improve the integration of behavioral and medical care, today announced the appointment of Patrick Kennedy to its Board of Directors. While serving as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Patrick Kennedy authored the Mental Health Parity Act, a landmark piece of legislation requiring that health insurance companies provide coverage benefits for treatment of mental health conditions that are comparable to coverage provided for physical conditions. Since leaving office, he founded The Kennedy Forum and One Mind for Research to unite policymakers, business leaders, and the scientific communities around improving mental healthcare in our country.
“Patrick is one of the most influential mental health leaders and advocates of our time and we could not be more excited to welcome him to our Board,” says Annie Lamont of Oak HC/FT, who led Quartet’s Series A round. “Patrick’s personal mission and that of Quartet are deeply aligned, and he has focused the national spotlight on destigmatizing and integrating mental healthcare. He is a key addition in our continued efforts to translate proven models to widespread commercial activity that makes integrated mental healthcare a reality for all Americans.”
“Creating better alignment between patients, healthcare providers, and insurers can vastly improve the quality of mental healthcare delivery, especially for individuals who struggle with behavioral health conditions and concomitant physical health conditions,” says Kennedy. “I am excited to join an organization dedicated to improving care for those who suffer from issues I have dealt with myself, and believe that Quartet’s continued success stands to make a profound impact on our society.”
Kennedy joins Quartet’s Board of Directors as an independent member. The Board currently includes Chief Executive Officer Arun Gupta, Chairman Steve Shulman, Annie Lamont of Oak HC/FT, and Board Observer Carl Byers of Fidelity Biosciences. Quartet is funded by Fidelity Biosciences, Polaris Partners, Oxeon Investments LLC and Oak HC/FT.
VillageMD, a management services company that partners with leading healthcare providers to improve care delivery and optimize population health outcomes, has announced the closing of a $36M Series A financing round. The round was led by Oak HC/FT with additional participation from other new and existing investors including Oxeon Partners, LLC. Click here for more information on VillageMD’s Series A>>>
Digital behavioral medicine company Omada Health has raised a $48 million Series C round led by Norwest Venture Partners, with participation from other investors, including two strategics: Humana (NYSE: HUM) and Providence Health & Services. The financing brings Omada's total raised to roughly $77 million, including a $23 million Series B in April 2014 at a $54 million valuation. The company’s flagship program, Prevent, is a digital lifestyle intervention designed to help individuals reduce their risk for obesity-related chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Oxeon is pleased to announce the placement of Dr. Marc-David Munk as Vice President of Accountable Care at Iora Health. Dr. Munk joins from Reliant Medical Group, where he served as Chief Medical Officer. Iora is building a new model of primary health care delivery ground up to ensure improved customer service, better health outcomes and dramatically lower overall healthcare costs. Iora is funded by Flare Capital Partners, Rice Management Company, GE Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Fidelity Biosciences, Polaris Partners, .406 Ventures and Tony Hsieh, among others. Iora Health is a portfolio investment of Oxeon Investments LLC. Click here for more information >>>
Congratulationss to Oxeon clients athenahealth, Grand Rounds, Health Catalyst, Sutter Health, The Advisory Board & The Chartis Group for making Modern Healthcare's 2015 Best Places to Work in Healthcare list! The recognition program, now in its eighth year, honors workplaces throughout the healthcare industry that empower their employees to provide patients and customers with the best possible care, products and services.
Oxeon is pleased to announce the placement of Chris Covill as Executive Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Accolade. Chris joins from Mercer Health & Benefits, where he served as Partner, National Practice Leader. Accolade is an innovative consumer engagement company dedicated to helping get the right care while improving their healthcare experience and lowering costs for large employers, payers and Accountable Care Organizations. Accolade is funded by Carrick Capital Partners, Accretive LLC and Comcast Ventures. Click here for more information >>>
Oxeon is pleased to announce the placement of Vince Balsamo as Senior Vice President of Sales of Propeller Health. Vince joins from EmergeMD, where he served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Propeller is the leading mobile platform for respiratory health management. Through sensors, mobile apps and services, Propeller helps reduce the cost of care while delivering better quality of life for individuals with chronic respiratory disease. Propeller Health is funded by Safeguard Scientifics, The Social+Capital Partnership, and California HealthCare Foundation. Click here for more information >>>
Oxeon is pleased to announce the placement of Ben Mehling as Chief Technology Officer at Reflexion Health. Ben joins from NextGen Healthcare where he was Vice President of Research and Development. Reflexion Health develops prescription software to aid with consumer engagement, care management and communication in physical therapy. Reflexion Health is funded by West Health. Click here for more information >>>
Oxeon is excited to announce the placement of Andy Hiett as Senior Vice President of Sales at Linkwell Health. Andy joins from Emdeon, where he was Vice President of Payer Sales and Client Management. Linkwell is a consumer engagement company that inspires healthier choices through a unique combination of print and digital content and coupons. Linkwell is funded by HLM Venture Partners and Spark Capital. Click here for more information >>>