Dispensed: A look back on the Obamacare decade, top healthcare VCs predict 2020, and a fertility startup scoop
Welcome to our final edition of Dispensed for 2019, in which we're very much looking forward to the holiday week after reviewing the Trump administration's plans to import drugs from Canada as a way to lower drug prices.
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We've spent this past week (month, really) reflecting on what transpired this past decade in healthcare. Zach Tracer and I have both been covering the industry for about five years, so our collective knowledge skewed a bit toward the second half of the decade.
So we turned to healthcare experts who worked under in Trump, Obama, and Bush administrations to fill in the gaps and break out what they thought were the most pivotal developments of the past decade.
THE OBAMACARE DECADE: Top healthcare leaders who worked for Trump, Obama, and Bush share the biggest healthcare developments of the 2010s
From CRISPR to $1,000 genomes, to Medicaid expansion to the lines around what defines a healthcare company fundamentally being redrawn through mergers like CVS Health's 2018 acquisition of Aetna, the healthcare industry looks a lot different from where it was just 10 years ago.
That said, there's still a lot that'll need to get sorted out in the 2020s (are we calling this next decade the 20s?).
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Last year, I asked VCs for their 2019 predictions, and they didn't disappoint! (You can see how well they did at forecasting the healthcare developments of the year here.)
So I decided to ask around and see what 2020 might have in store. Here's what this year's group told me.
10 top VCs share their best 2020 healthcare predictions, from a booming IPO market to pharma companies getting into the medical care business
Personally, I'll be curious to see if pharmaceutical companies do pick up some of the direct-to-consumer healthcare startups as a way to more directly reach patients than they do right now, a prediction the team at Lux Capital shared with me, as well as what companies get funded if primary care goes through the unbundling Andreessen Horowitz's Julie Yoo predicts will unfold in 2020.
The last week before the holidays also brought some funding news (with more I'd expect coming the first few weeks of January... hold tight).
- First, Bright Health has officially raised more than $1 billion after raising a monster $635 million round. It's now officially part of the unicorn club, along with the other venture-backed health insurers we've been keeping an eye on. The start of 2020 should bring some enrollment numbers for Medicare Advantage plans, which should be illuminating.
- Then, we had the scoop on a $25 million funding round for TMRW, a company looking to digitize the way eggs, sperm, and embryos are stored at fertility clinics. By 2022, TMRW wants its system to be used in 25% of all in-vitro fertilization cycles in US fertility clinics, TMRW co-CEO Joshua Abram told us.
With that, I'll bid you a happy holidays and a restful end to the year. I'll be road-tripping back to the Chicago and Milwaukee areas for the holidays (Please send any downtown Cleveland food recommendations for dinner tomorrow night!).
I'll be back in your inboxes in 2020, and before we know it we'll be in the throes of JPMorgan Healthcare Conference coverage.
In the meantime, please feel free to send any last-minute 2019 tips, gossip, or things we should be keeping an eye on in the new year to me at email@example.com. You can reach the entire healthcare team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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