David Jones Speaks With Health Plan Week: ‘Most Exciting Time’ Makes Plans Active Buyers of New Start-Ups

A combination of long-term trends, regulatory forces and technological wonders are all colliding to create the largest systemic change in health care since the implementation of Medicare 50 years ago, says David Jones, Jr., chairman of Louisville, Ky.-based venture capital firm Chrysalis Ventures and a current director and former chairman of Humana Inc.’s board.

This change is making for exciting work as Chrysalis searches for companies to invest in that improve productivity or reduce costs in the healthcare system. The focus is on finding outfits that employ innovative technology providing actionable in formation, streamlining processes or reducing waste for payers, providers and consumers, he tells Health Plan Week.

Health Plan Week:  Which areas of the healthcare sector should insurers be paying the most attention to in terms of seeking out or acquiring new technologies?

Jones:  In addition to helping carriers and employers prepare for exchanges, there is a huge opportunity in care coordination for patients with multiple chronic conditions.  Managing these patients’ continuum of care across multiple providers, caregivers, locations and doctors, with differing technology infrastructures, is a recipe for rework, omission and negligence.  Regulatory change has created new incentives, like avoiding “never event” readmissions, that make big organizations interested in new tools.

And the economic opportunity and social benefit of bringing better care to dual-eligible elderly Americans holds great promise.  Another opportunity for carriers is  better management of the frail elderly, where preventing a single fall can prevent a significant amount of associated follow-on medical complications and decline.  Both hardware and software for passive surveillance and engagement of this segment and caregivers is moving fast — but finding the right business model is a challenge.

Finally, with the growth of specialty pharmaceutical spending, especially in the area of oncology drugs, there’s a huge opportunity to reduce spending on ineffective but expensive drugs through better genomic analysis.  This is why you see enthusiasm for companies like Foundation Medicine, a provider of next-generation sequencing-driven cancer diagnostics.

The complete article in Health Plan Week can be found here.