As we emerge from the 38th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, enthusiasm around the industry’s transition to value-based care remains strong.
While in San Francisco, Proskauer had the chance to meet with leading health care, life sciences and technology companies and investors to discuss what’s working when it comes to moving the value-based care needle, as well as where future opportunities—and challenges—might lie.
Read on for some of the key themes discussed at the conference and what’s informing health care decision makers during this time of innovation, collaboration and transformation.
Technology continues to contribute to more effective care delivery
At the conference, many participants noted the power of technology and data analysis when it comes to more effective care delivery—especially related to innovations in telemedicine, telecommunications and artificial intelligence that will help providers improve their services.
Teladoc Health’s conference announcement about its acquisition of InTouch Health, a fellow telehealth company that currently has partnerships in place with more than 450 hospitals and health systems, is just one example. With this acquisition, Teladoc hopes to build a single point of access across provider and consumer markets that “supports a unified experience for the health plan’s members, the health system’s patients and provider-to-provider applications.”
Deals like this one highlight the efforts the industry is undertaking to harness technology in order to reach consumers no matter where they are. Attendees expect to see more of these deal-types in the future.
Hospitals go back to the future
If the future of care will increasingly take place outside the four walls of a hospital and extends into the community and patients’ homes, what does that mean for hospitals? As the industry evolves, hospitals must consider how they will remain relevant. That process includes considering the use of innovative partnerships and joint ventures with other health industry players who have complimentary capabilities (all while navigating the complexities of existing anti-trust laws).
One example taking hold is hospital partnerships with primary care physicians (PCPs) groups like One Medical, which recently filed paperwork with the SEC to go public. The benefit of such partnerships for hospitals is clear: it allows hospitals to free-up capacity to perform tasks they were originally designed to complete, like invasive surgery and trauma care, offloading non-acute responsibilities to PCPs. At the same time, PCPs are often generally better able to manage physician practices and coordinate specialty services.
ACA uncertainty puts pressure on dealmakers
Since the Supreme Court will not fast-track hearings for Texas v. Azar prior to the 2020 election, the uncertainty around the future of the Affordable Care Act remained top-of-mind for many J.P. Morgan attendees.
This was (and continues to be) particularly true for investors, many of whom are worried about the distruption a potential invalidation of the Affordable Care Act would cause.
Given an abundance of available capital and the development of new technologies, opportunity is ripe for those with the right risk appetite. But, speed shouldn’t come at the expense of quality, and it’s important to do proper diligence on potential opportunities. As investors look to maximize the first three quarters of the year, working under the guidance of experienced counsel who understands the industry will be critical to making the most of the opportunity.