By EMILY EVANS
Takeaway: Policy changes have overtaken many health care SPACs but that won’t stop a lot of telegenic advocates; something is sure to go wrong.
Politics. Something is sure to go wrong.
Over 400 SPACs have formed and about 100 business combinations announced. At least as far as health care goes, excluding biotech and pharma, the quality of the business combinations has thus far been uninspiring.
Deerfield’s CareMax/IMC Medical, Jaws’ Cano Health are focused on the very crowded Medicare Advantage market just as demographic realities require attention to shift toward younger people. Falcon’s ShareCare, GigCapital2’s Uphealth/Cloudbreak, Hudson’s Talkspace are yet more digital platforms to manage care. VG’s 23andMe wants to monetize all the genetic data it has collected through drug development.
Absent durable business models that address the core challenges of health care such as price, efficiency and quality, SPACs seem to be relying on charismatic personalities to win over investors, great and small, regardless of their experience or credibility. So much so, Twitter entreaties from Chamath Palihapitiya’s fan-base have taken on the tone of religious followers. “@chamath give @Clover_Health some love on Valentine’s Day what’s your position are you optimistic, excited, hopeful of its future? We would love to hear from you…”
The VG/23andMe combination will certainly produce the most telegenic financing team ever but investors should wonder what aviation and genetic testing have in common. Other SPAC teams tilt heavily toward technology experience. The working relationship between Silicon Valley and health care is troubled, to say the least, and likely to continue to be so as demonstrated by $CLOV.
There are few targets on Capitol Hill more mouthwatering than the rich and famous. When something goes wrong, an inevitability given the weak standard of disclosure of a Proxy statement, Elizabeth Warren, newly appointed to the Senate Finance Committee, will be waiting with a