On Monday the New York Times published a piece speculating on the next set of Unicorns, i.e., venture-backed start ups valued at $1 billion or more. An independent research firm developed the list using a proprietary "algorithm" to forecast their valuation. Not surprisingly, the list is dominated by technology companies, but a health care provider — One Medical Group — made the cut.
Worthy of note is the fact that One Medical is a provider, and as such sits on the opposite side of the health care table from Oscar, a new breed of health care payer I recently wrote about. Oscar, by the way, hit the $1.5 billion valuation this past spring.
Despite the fact that One Medical and Oscar play different roles in the healthcare system, they do share some similarities. One Medical has a strong focus on customer experience and leverages technology to enhance that experience through greater convenience and access than traditional provider organizations offer. Oscar has the same kind of customer experience focus applied on the health care payer side.
In the newly competitive environment of health care, some provider and payer organizations clearly perceive the value of forming direct relationships with consumers and apply technology to achieve that objective. Perhaps just as importantly, the deep-pocketed investors that have the wherewithal to fund innovation in health care choose to place their bets with those companies.