Town Hall Ventures will aid technology efforts to care for underserved

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Three healthcare leaders—including Andy Slavitt, former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services—are forming a venture capital firm that plans to invest in healthcare technology and service companies to aid care delivery to vulnerable populations.

The new venture, called Town Hall Ventures, was one of the topics that Slavitt discussed Tuesday during a presentation at the HTLH: The Future of Healthcare conference in Las Vegas.

Slavitt, a key critic of the nation’s current direction in healthcare policy, is currently group executive vice president of Optum. Joining him to start Town Hall Ventures are:

• Trevor Price, founder of Oxeon Holdings, a retained executive search and investment firm.

• David Whelan, managing general partner of predecessor firm Oxeon Ventures and formerly general partner and chief financial officer of Accretive, an investment firm.

Town Hall is headquartered in New York and Minneapolis, and believes that its principles’ experience in building businesses, serving in major public and private sector roles, building premier executive teams and investing across technology and healthcare, will enable entrepreneurs to build businesses from the idea stage to the growth stage.

The new firm will be looking to assist companies in improving care to populations such as Medicare, Medicaid, risk-based care, as well as those who have complex conditions. It will also support emerging companies that want to address social determinants of health, which many believe greatly influence a person’s health and ability to respond to medical treatment.

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“As a nation, we have significant healthcare infrastructure serving healthy populations, while lower-income communities go underserved, leading to vastly poorer health outcomes,” Slavitt says. “We are at the beginning of a wave of innovation serving Medicare and Medicaid populations—Town Hall is being formed to help lead this massive and necessary shift.”

Town Hall Ventures also has announced its first investments—they include:

• Cityblock Health, built in partnership with Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, to provide primary care, behavioral health and human services to address unmet health and social needs in urban populations.

• Somatus, a company revolutionizing treatment and new models of care for chronic kidney patients.

• Welbe Health, a provider of integrated medical and social services to frail senior citizens.

• Aetion, a provider of real-world analytics and evidence to help biopharma companies and payers better understand how drugs work in the real world to enable value-based care.

The initial investments in non-traditional technology and healthcare solutions are essential as healthcare delivery changes based on new technology, discoveries and market pressures, Slavitt believes. “The answers are not always traditional; they involve investments in underlying systemic issues as well as innovative approaches that improve people’s health and well-being,” he adds.

“Our objective is to be a catalyst and investing partner to spur substantial investment and entrepreneurial commitment to the rapidly emerging opportunity to support real healthcare solutions for Americans all over the country,” Whelan says.

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