Jefferson Health partners with digital health venture capital firm

Jefferson Health on Monday announced an innovative partnership with General Catalyst that will allow the not-for-profit healthcare system to connect with a range of technology companies to support its digital transformation efforts.

Philadelphia-based Jefferson Health will gain access to companies in the General Catalyst Health Promotion Network, a group of health technology companies in which the company has invested. Health insurance describes the transition from so-called “patient care” to a health care system that provides more proactive and preventative care to patients.

Jefferson Health will connect to the network to identify and deploy tools that will improve patient care and virtual care, ease its transition to cost-based care, and diversify its revenue streams, among other things. This includes integrating tools between companies and jointly developing tools with them, rather than buying separate products.

“As we jointly develop – and in some cases co-invest -[it] really creates a completely different model [for our innovation pillar]”Dr. Stephen Clasko, CEO of Jefferson Health and President of Thomas Jefferson University, said during a phone call to reporters on Monday.

Clasco announced last week that he would retire at the end of the year.

The partnership builds on a previous collaboration between Klasco and Hemant Tanya, managing partner of General Catalyst. Last year, Clasco and Taneja co-authored a book outlining their vision for health and the need to move towards a system that prioritizes prevention.

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The new partnership is not associated with Health Assurance Acquisition Corp., a specialized acquisition company that Klasco and Taneja formed last year with former Livongo executives, Taneji said.

Jefferson Health is still in the “early stages” of a partnership with General Catalyst and has yet to determine what the financial details of the work will look like, according to Patricia Wellenbach, chair of the health care board of trustees. Ideally, the technology and services that emerge from this partnership will help reduce the cost of treatment.

“We are looking into all the associated financial parameters,” she said. “More details will come later.”

The General Catalyst Health Network includes software companies such as Commure, Olive, Tendo, and Transcarent. Taneja said General Catalyst intends to perform program management functions, helping to network companies so that their products can communicate with each other and become part of an integrated ecosystem.

Tendo, a digital engagement company, launched sponsored by Jefferson Health and General Catalyst earlier this year. Jefferson Health is working closely with Tendo, Klasco said, and is calling on the company to help adapt or even create interaction tools for patients and doctors as it identifies the gaps it needs to fill. This can facilitate the development of new products that Tendo can sell to other healthcare customers.

The partnership with Jefferson Health is part of General Catalyst’s effort to rethink how a venture capital firm works with funding companies and helps them build.

“The healthcare transformation is too big for one company – it really will require an ecosystem,” Taneja said. “We are very grateful to Jefferson’s leadership for partnering with us – first of all – in achieving this here in Philadelphia, and then for becoming a model for the rest of the country.”

According to General Catalyst, General Catalyst became the largest investor in digital health in the third quarter of 2021. Digital health, business and technologyas he participated in nine rounds of funding. The firm has made great strides as an early investor in Livongo, which has since been acquired by Teladoc Health, and Oscar, and as an investor in companies such as Airbnb, Grammarly, Kayak and Snap and Warby Parker in addition to healthcare.

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