Two of the most significant pieces of legislation in decades, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, are poised to transform the entire spectrum of health care. The ACA regulates everything from health insurance requirements to tax collection. The JOBS Act regulates businesses that fund their ventures online. In tandem, these two bills have created a new world for health care innovators and investors. Ironically though, it is the innovators and investors who are joining forces to do what the ACA is unable to do: reduce costs and increase access. At the 7th Annual OneMedForum last week in San Francisco more than 400 one-on-one investor meetings were conducted between venture capitalists and startup health care companies, all in the name of disruptive innovation.
The OneMedForum was held in unison with the JP Morgan Conference, aimed at bringing thought leaders, reformers and financiers together to change the delivery of health care. Change that is desperately needed based on Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that federal spending for the major health care programs and Social Security would increase to a total of 14% of GDP by 2038, twice the 7% average of the past 40 years.
The creators of the programming believe that disruptive innovation is the key component to reshaping the future of health care. They have faith that raising capital online post-JOBS Act will flourish, and that crowdfunding and secondary markets is the fastest way to create smarter clinical trials, personalized medicine and allow private companies to go public.
According to conference organizer Brett Johnson’s opening remarks, “Health care is at a critical moment in the United States. Without dramatic changes, the costs of health care will bankrupt the US and consume the vast majority of our resources. Hope lies with innovation.”
At the helm of the OneMedForum is OneMedPlace, a company focused on partnering and facilitating meetings between investors and reformers, creating unique platforms for companies and producing OneMedTV live streaming shows and documentaries about health reform.
In-line with most conferences, there were post-event receptions for networking hosted by the likes of AdvaMed2014 and BDO, and panel discussion with experts discussing the ACA and specific topics related to health reform. However, unlike other conferences OneMedForum claims that their role is as a provider of platforms to showcase innovation, which directly rewards the entrepreneurs and investors as strategic discussions and introductions are begun.
“A characteristic unique to OneMedForum is the natural and scheduled opportunities for meaningful introductions and discussions,” says Chelli Miller, President and CEO of ChelliConnects. “OneMedPlace also has their thumb on regulatory and investment issues affecting startup companies, such as offering panels on the JOBS Act before anyone else.”
Another unique aspect of this year’s conference was the primary policy themes that were woven throughout the presentations and panels. Using the JOBS Act and the ACA as dual backbones of the 2.5 conference days, thought leaders such as William Hambrecht, Steve Burrill and Jason Hwang shared insight with the CEO’s of more than 85 biotechnology, life sciences, medical device and venture capitalism companies.
Specifically, financier William Hambrecht offered input and outlook for small company IPO’s, predicting that there is a large, untapped market and that the new changes to regulation could lead to a large increase in innovation. Steven Burrill in the other hand offered an exciting overview of health care delivery today and where it is going.
The Innovators Prescription
Panels also focused heavily on the theories of Clayton Christensen and Jason Hwang, MD from their 2009 book The Innovators Prescription. Dr. Hwang discussed the ACA and its impact on pioneering disruption, and further, what it means for investors and entrepreneurs. The book, which addresses what is fundamentally wrong with the US health care system, led many panelists to contend that the ACA does not actually address the fundamentals of reducing costs or increasing access.
“The American public has become dramatically more interested in health care access, quality and cost. We at OneMedPlace educate about the underlying issues in health care, the companies that offer solutions, and new investment opportunities arising because of the JOBS Act,” said Brett Johnson.
Using secondary markets and crowdfunding, many believe that modernization of funding sources can move the market much faster, and create new spaces of research with new business models.
“The OneMed Forum provides small-cap and private companies with a high-profile venue in the healthcare industry ‘s most prominent week in conjunction with the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco to tell our stories to the investment community. Bringing key stakeholders responsible for the proper functioning of the capital formation process is one of the most critical steps to improving the innovation cycle in healthcare system, and OneMedForum fills a key need in the space,” said Gerald E. Commissiong, President & CEO of Amarantus Bioscience, Inc.
The OneMedForum group also contends that difficulties associated with reimbursement shortages from the ACA and budget cuts impact innovation and investment, proving that capturing liquidity and going public are keys to future entrepreneurial success in the health care field. Therefore, making those connections with financiers is what could determine who grows and who does not.
Collin Caneva, co-founder and CEO of GearFiveStudios reiterated just that point, saying, “It was important for my team and me to be present at the OneMedForum for a number of reasons, but the fact that it’s such an intimate conference setting stands out the most. It’s more than just meeting people and getting a business card; it’s truly an opportunity to build lasting relationships.”
It is ideas like these that bring people together in new forums for discussion and investment that do have the potential to support the next big thing. With one right connection, the financial support to make a startup idea possible could be the catalyst needed to drastically improve access and quality, or drive cost-effectiveness that lowers costs.
Source: Forbes Business