“We’re providing a forum for members to receive insights and intelligence into growth areas and deal activity for new companies that are being backed by providers and health systems. Participants have a unique opportunity to become co-founders, investors and customers of these companies.”

— Crystal Mullis, Vizient vice president of virtual and venture member communications

Digital health innovation and investment experienced exponential growth in 2020, with surpassing all previous years highs at $14.4B. While COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of emerging digital technologies, it also made clear the need to transform health care delivery to align closer with the consumer and ensure they get the right care, when and where they need it. In response to these market dynamics, Vizient launched its Member-Backed Ventures offering earlier this year for health care executives who want to learn more about health care provider backed new companies (NewCos) they may want to partner with or invest in.

“For many members, COVID-19 has accelerated their digital health strategy and also put them in a place where it’s difficult to make sense of this crowded space,” says Crystal Mullis, Vizient vice president of virtual and ventures, member connections. “We’re providing a forum for members to receive insights and intelligence into growth activity and deal activity for new companies that are being backed by other providers and health systems. Participants are provided with a unique opportunity to become co-founders, investors and customers of these companies.”

Offering market insights, intelligence and investment opportunities

 The offering features NewCos and spin-ups that have been developed by or invested in by members. Participants gain awareness of the health care provider NewCo market within specified domains that are most critical to health system leaders, including digital health, ambulatory care, physician enterprise, and health equity and social determinants of health. “Participants get an inside track to intelligence on hospital providers that have supported a NewCo development, what problems they are addressing in the market and opportunities for other organizations to partner,” says Mullis.

The four components of the program are:

  • Webinars—Provide exclusive insights into market activity, how members are advancing ventures and co-development or partnership opportunities
  • VentureSprout Podcast—Highlights health care’s latest endeavors and pioneering ideas, the podcast features spin-ups and NewCos developed by members across the country
  • Matchmaking Summit—Offers one-on-one matchmaking meetings with health system and NewCo executives, creating venture and channel relationships
  • Community Platform—Offers curated materials and the ability to collaborate in a secure environment

Early feedback from participants in the program has been favorable. Investors and partners in these companies welcome the opportunity to connect with health systems interested in learning more about the companies. Participants have expressed appreciation for the market intelligence, including a customized “market map” that provides data visualizations of provider-backed activity.

“One of the things we’re trying to do is help members understand what other hospitals and health systems are backing or not backing, so they don’t fall behind in this rapidly moving market. notes Mullis. “We’re providing a lot of insights and intelligence in a very crowded marketplace.”

In addition to bringing partnership and investment opportunities to members, the offering helps new companies scale-up more quickly. “The program provides channel access for new companies and spin-ups that they may not have had before,” notes Corey Pegg, Vizient senior director, virtual and venture member connections. “They’re able to get to the right customers in a one-to-many way.”

Provider-Backed Newco spotlights: Dexcare and Panda Health

Vizient members are actively investing in and starting up digital health companies. Investments, partnerships and startups span the digital health continuum, including consumer access engagement and activation, patient assessment and intervention, and patient monitoring and management. Two Vizient Member-Backed Venture examples are Dexcare and Panda Health.

Dexcare is a digital health solution that Vizient member Providence founded several years ago to provide on-demand care to patients across multiple settings. The platform provides the ability to orchestrate capacity and digital demand across business lines, providing a combination of access, navigation and capacity optimization. Since launching Dexcare, Providence has seen a 30 percent increase in new patients, with increased downstream revenue as new patients return to the health system for additional care.

Another new digital health company is Panda Health, a marketplace to source digital health solutions. A group of member health systems launched Panda Health to transform how health systems discover, implement and manage digital innovations that improve the patient and consumer experience. Panda Health helps simplify the process of sourcing and procuring digital solutions, saving health systems time, effort and expense.

Digital Health Enables Provides to Shift Care to “Anywhere”

“Members are trying to understand how to get patients the right care in the right place at the right time,” says Pegg. “Health care organizations spun up so many things so quickly because of COVID, but what is the right balance between in-person and virtual care? Now the focus is on evolving beyond the acute care setting to care anywhere for patients.”

Vizient is on the lookout for NewCos and spin-ups to feature in its VentureSprout podcast and other Member-Backed Ventures programming. If you are a member-backed NewCo or spin-up or want to learn more about Vizient’s Member-Backed Ventures program, contact us.

Published: April 27, 2021