Welcome to Insider Healthcare. I’m Shelby Livingston, and this week in healthcare news:
- Rapidly growing Bright Health became the latest upstart insurer to make its stock-market debut;
- We looked at the nine primary-care companies rushing to upend how we go to the doctor;
- Doctors stand to make thousands on a controversial new Alzheimer’s drug.
Let’s get to it…
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Another week, another healthcare IPO. This week, Bright Health, the fast-growing insurer led by a UnitedHealth Group veteran, started trading.
Bright’s far larger than other buzzy young insurers like Oscar Health and Clover Health, both of which went public this year and have seen their share prices plummet.
So, we were interested to see how the market would receive yet another health insurer that wants to upend the space.
Turns out, Bright slipped 2% in its IPO. It ended its first day of trading at a $10.4 billion valuation.
On Thursday, I caught up with Bright CEO Mike Mikan, who’s just one of the executives getting rich from the IPO.
He told me he’s banking on Bright’s tight relationships with doctors to drive growth as the insurer looks to scale nationwide.
Bright Health is the latest health-insurance upstart to make its stock-market debut. Its CEO said tight relationships with doctors were driving its bonkers revenue growth.
This week, Mohana Ravindranath and Lydia Ramsey Pflanzer broke down nine companies that want to transform primary care.
These companies, many of which combine physical clinics with digital services like telehealth, have raised hundreds of millions of dollars this year.
The primary-care space is the arena for some of the most closely watched deals. One Medical, for example, is buying Iora Health for $2.1 billion, as Mohana reported earlier this month.
Mohana also recently took a look at a major issue with the space: few companies are taking care of low-income patients on Medicaid, and it’s creating some serious equity problems.
Biogen’s controversial new Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm continues to raise thorny issues.
The FDA approved the $56,000-a-year treatment earlier this month, even though it’s not clear if it improves patients’ memory and cognition.
This week, Allison DeAngelis had the scoop on new internal memos that showed FDA experts were divided over the drug.
She and Andrew Dunn also covered how neurologists could make lots of money by prescribing Aduhelm, even if they don’t think it works.
America’s broken healthcare system encourages neurologists to prescribe a new Alzheimer’s drug, even if they don’t believe it works
More stories we covered this week:
- Through expanding access to basic care, mental health startups are working toward a healthcare system where prevention comes first.
- Pear is going public in a $1.6 billion SPAC deal despite projecting just $4 million in 2021 revenue. It highlights how hard it is to make money with a prescription app.
- Doximity ignored VC money for 7 years and now is a $9.6 billion public company. The CEO explains why customers are better than term sheets.
- Psychiatric drugs were once a $30 billion business. Analysts say these 9 companies could revive it.