Ex-CMMI, Aspire Health head launches Main Street Health eyeing value-based primary care

The former director of the Center of Medicaid & Medicare Innovation launched a new startup aimed at transforming independent rural providers to value-based contracts on Tuesday.

Brad Smith, who headed CMMI during the last year of the Trump administration, has turned his sights on Main Street Health. The Nashville, Tenn.-based startup entering the market as investment in physician enablement platforms booms.

Smith also headed and eventually sold home care company Aspire Health to Anthem for $440 million. Main Street Health did not immediately respond to an interview request.

Main Street Health aims to help primary care clinics, independent pharmacies and urgent care centers transform from fee-for-service to value-based contracts with private insurers and Medicare, said Dan O’Neill, a healthcare consultant and chief commercial officer of Pine Park Health, which provides clinical staff to senior services communities.

In addition to providing tech tools and partnerships, Main Street will also embed community health workers in locations to coordinate and manage care for the sickest, costliest patients. And unlike newly-public competitors Privia Health and Agilon health, Main Street will focus on working with providers in rural areas. The company launched with $26.6 million in venture funding.

“We actually have sort of an access challenge in some rural areas,” O’Neill said. “They have the opportunity to take a business model that’s been proven in other, more urban areas and actually say, ‘How can we adapt that to the provider landscape that exists in rural setting?’ Wrapping urgent care centers to become more primary care-like, wrapping independent pharmacies play a bigger role in primary care?”

The company’s entrance into the market comes as investment in digital health tools booms, particularly those that help physicians enter into value-based contracts. Privia Health generated nearly 51% more in cash than investors initially expected during its public debut in May, bringing the Arlington, Va.-based company’s valuation to $1.87 billion. Agilon Health saw its share prices soar 38% during its April IPO, with investors valuing the Long Beach, Calif.-based company at $1.07 billion. In June, senior primary care provider and tech tool Cano Health also paid $600 million to buy University Health Care, bumping up its projected 2021 revenue to $1.5 billion.

These new investments signal that the time has come for risk-bearing primary care, O’Neill said.

“There’s a huge, broad, nationwide transition to pay primary care physicians with value-based care, and I think there’s room for probably dozens players in this space with different models,” O’Neill said.

Source: modernhealthcare.com

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