VC Briefing: Impact of Trumpcare on Healthcare Innovation and Investment

A packed house at the Cooley office with the healthcare industry’s top influencers

On June 13th, the NEVCA gathered a collection of New England’s top investors and operators for an interactive discussion on the future of healthcare innovation and investing, as ACA “repeal and replacement” looms. An intimate lunch panel with Yumin Choi of Bain Capital Ventures, Nancy Brown of Oak HC/FT, and Steve Kraus of Bessemer Venture Partners, moderated by Michael Hanewich of Silicon Valley Bank, delved into everything from potential valuation fluctuations, incumbents who stand to see disruption, how to identify opportunities as new legislation is unveiled, and even Boston’s place at the intersection of tech, academia, culture, science, and community.

Uncertainty is Impacting the Industry
Steve Kraus of Bessemer Venture Partners gave a presentation on Making Dollars and Sense in a Trumpcare World. Unsurprisingly, a running theme was uncertainty: The ACA poured a lot of money into healthcare; 2017 has seen tremendous, tweet-driven fluctuation in the public markets; 2017 has seen a slowdown in HCIT deals as investors and entrepreneurs await legislation that will set the parameters for innovation; it remains to be seen how new healthcare legislation will shape innovation, and thus private investment.

The VC Community Looks Ahead 
Despite the unpredictability of the immediate future, the panel and attendees explored the theoretical future. As new players from Tech enter the Healthcare space, the industries continue to converge. AI/Machine Learning is on the rise, with no end in sight, but from an investor perspective there is reason to be wary of novice entrants into the market. The consensus was that there are many reasons to be optimistic about digital healthcare’s future — though that future may take 10 years to become reality.

Boston’s Strength 
Comparing the East and West Coasts is a perpetual topic in the VC world. In Healthcare and Biotech, it is clear that Boston has an advantage to our western counterparts. While the Valley’s tendency to move fast gives it an edge in the pure Tech sector, it’s not necessarily a good thing in the Healthcare world. The tenets of strategy, improving customer experience and a lower risk tolerance, put our region in a favorable position in the industry. As long as we continue to retain talent and incentivize Digital Health innovation, we are poised to ride through the choppy legislative seas that appear unwavering for the foreseeable future.

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