Former Medicare chief and UnitedHealth Group executive Andy Slavitt is launching a venture-capital firm, with offices in Minneapolis and New York, for investing in health care technology to improve care for people covered by Medicare and Medicaid.
Slavitt, who ran the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in the Obama administration and helped implement the Affordable Care Act, said in a news release Tuesday that the firm is looking to build companies that will improve care for people covered by these government health insurance programs. The focus also includes risk-based care, complex conditions and social determinants of health.
The firm, called Town Hall Ventures, did not release financial details on Tuesday.
"We are at the beginning of a wave of innovations serving Medicare and Medicaid populations," Slavitt said in a statement. "Town Hall is being formed to help lead this massive and necessary shift."
While at UnitedHealth Group, Slavitt oversaw the portion of the Optum health services division that rescued the HealthCare.gov website following its disastrous rollout during the fall of 2013. Later, he took a job with the Obama administration, serving as acting administrator of the massive federal agency that runs the Medicare and Medicaid health insurance programs.
Medicare provides coverage to people age 65 and older, while low-income Americans receive benefits through Medicaid.
On Tuesday, Town Hall Ventures announced its first four investments, including investing in Cityblock Health, Inc., which is being developed in partnership with Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs to provide primary care, behavioral health and human services.
The venture firm also invested in Virginia-based Somatus Inc., which is focused on treatments and care models for chronic kidney patients.
The new venture firm is being created by Slavitt, who lives in Edina, along with Trevor Price and David Whelan. Price is founder and chief executive of Oxeon Partners, a retained executive search and investment fund focused on health care technology and services. Whelan is managing general partner at Oxeon Ventures, a predecessor firm to Town Hall.
Town Hall Ventures said its areas of focus impact nearly 120 million Americans and about $1.2 trillion in annual health care spending.
In February, Slavitt announced the formation of a new nonprofit called the United States of Care to advocate for wider access to affordable health care. One of the group's first hires was Allison O'Toole, the former chief executive at Minnesota's health insurance exchange MNsure.