October 3, 2022

General Catalyst on Monday said it’s collaborating with WellSpan Health, marking the venture capital firm’s fourth digital innovation partnership with a health system.

General Catalyst and York, Pennsylvania-based WellSpan Health will tackle challenges identified by the health system. Projects could involve designing care models that tie in behavioral health and social determinants of health, as well as simplifying patient experience with technology for care navigation, said Roxanna Gapstur, WellSpan’s president and CEO.

The partnership allows WellSpan to tap into General Catalyst’s so-called “health assurance” network, a group of healthcare technology companies in which General Catalyst has invested. It also provides WellSpan with earlier access to tech innovations, and General Catalyst with insight from healthcare experts.

“Our thesis is that healthcare transformation will happen through and with health systems,” said Daryl Tol, who joined General Catalyst in July as its head of its health assurance ecosystem. 

Similar to its partnerships with other health systems, there was no financial commitment from either WellSpan or General Catalyst. WellSpan might invest in co-development efforts with General Catalyst, such as if the organizations decide to create a company or intellectual property, Gapstur said.

“That gives WellSpan a chance to be an investor and in 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 firm and closed 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 year’s end, according to Tol.

General Catalyst is looking for a diverse group of healthcare partners, including children’s hospitals, academic medical centers, not-for-profit, for-profit and organizations in urban, suburban and rural areas, Tol said. The areas of focus for 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. It was an early investor in Oscar Health. Outside of healthcare, it has invested in companies like Airbnb, Snap and Warby Parker.

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