Former CMS head Andy Slavitt's venture firm to back startups serving America's poorest

Former CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt, in partnership with two other healthcare leaders, is  launching a new venture capital firm that will invest in health technology and services companies serving America's poorest and most vulnerable populations.

Trevor Price, the founder of a healthcare-focused executive search and investment firm Oxeon Holdings, and David Whelan, managing general partner of the predecessor firm Oxeon Ventures, are joining Mr. Slavitt in leading Town Hall Ventures.

Town Hall Ventures is based on "building companies to improve care in Medicare, Medicaid, risk-based care, complex conditions and in addressing social determinants of health," reads the firm's press release. Improving processes in those areas could positively affect about 120 million Americans and reduce annual healthcare spend.  

"As a nation we have significant healthcare infrastructure serving healthy populations while lower-income communities go underserved, leading to vastly poorer health outcomes," Mr. Slavitt said in the press release. "We are at the beginning of a wave of innovation serving Medicare and Medicaid populations. Town Hall is being formed to help lead this massive and necessary shift. The answers are not always traditional; they involve investments in underlying systemic issues as well as innovative approaches that improve people's health and well-being."

Here are four companies Town Hall Ventures has already written checks to.

1. Cityblock Health, an Alphabet spinout that provides primary care, behavioral health and human services to meet the needs of urban populations;

2. Somatus, a startup targeting new models of care for chronic kidney patients;

3. WelbeHealth, a medical and social services provider to frail seniors; and

4. Aetion, a company rooted in analytics to help biopharma companies and payers better price their drugs.

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