General Catalyst, WellSpan Health Partners in Digital Health
General Catalyst said Monday it is collaborating with WellSpan Health, marking the venture capital firm’s fourth digital innovation partnership with a healthcare system.
General Catalyst and WellSpan Health, based in York, Pennsylvania, will address challenges identified by the healthcare system. Projects could involve designing models of care related to behavioral health and social determinants of health, as well as simplifying the patient experience through care navigation technology, said Roxanna Gapstur, president and CEO of WellSpan.
The partnership allows WellSpan to operate the so-called “health insurance” network of General Catalyst, a group of health technology companies in which General Catalyst has invested. It also provides WellSpan with faster access to technological innovations and General Catalyst with information from healthcare experts.
“Our thesis is that healthcare transformation will happen through and with healthcare systems,” said Daryl Tol, who joined General Catalyst in July as head of its health insurance ecosystem.
Similar to its partnerships with other health systems, there was no financial commitment from WellSpan or General Catalyst. WellSpan could invest in co-development efforts with General Catalyst, for example if organizations decide to build a business or intellectual property, Gapstur said.
“It gives WellSpan a chance to be an investor and to be on the ground floor for some really interesting collaborations and disruptions,” Gapstur said.
General Catalyst, which recently tapped Intermountain Healthcare CEO Dr. Marc Harrison to join the company and firm a $670 million fund last month has similar partnerships with Philadelphia-based Jefferson Health, Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare, and Nashville, Tennessee-based HCA Healthcare.
The company aims to have 10 health system partners by the end of the year, according to Tol.
General Catalyst is seeking a diverse group of healthcare partners, including children’s hospitals, academic medical centers, nonprofits, for-profits, and urban, suburban and rural areas, Tol said. The focus areas of each partnership will vary by organization.
General Catalyst’s investments in digital health companies include value-based provider Cityblock Health, software company Commure and artificial intelligence and automation company Olive. He was an early investor in Oscar Health. Outside of healthcare, he has invested in companies like Airbnb, Snap and Warby Parker.