Hackensack Meridian Health is the latest hospital system to partner with venture capital firm General Catalyst.
General Catalyst will be a “think tank” for Hackensack, a 17-hospital system based in Edison, New Jersey, helping guide its strategic planning and testing the nonprofit health system’s digital health ventures.
Hackensack is General Catalyst’s fifth health system partner. The venture capital firm plans to partner with up to 15 systems.
“They are going to serve as a think tank for Hackensack Meridian Health,” Hackensack CEO Bob Garrett said. “They will pressure test our strategies.”
For instance, General Catalyst will test the system's digital connections to consumers and providers related to data analytics and artificial intelligence, Garrett said.
Similar to General Catalyst's affiliations with other health systems, no money changed hands.
General Catalyst chose Hackensack because of its diverse mix of services and facilities, its leadership, its commitment to teaching and the board’s support for innovation, said Daryl Tol, head of General Catalyst’s health assurance ecosystem.
“We want to accelerate healthcare transformation and believe this should be done with what we call radical collaboration,” Tol said in an email. “We want to improve our insight and understanding of the gaps and needs associated with transformation.”
Its health assurance network is comprised of General Catalyst-backed healthcare technology companies that look to improve preventative care, reduce costs and boost access. Some health systems, including York, Pennsylvania-based WellSpan Health, have partnered with General Catalyst to, in part, use and learn from those spun-off startups. Hackensack is still evaluating that element of the partnership, Garrett said.
General Catalyst has formed strategic partnerships with Nashville-based HCA Healthcare, Philadelphia-based Jefferson Health and Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Health. Dr. Marc Harrison, former CEO of Intermountain, announced he was leaving Utah’s largest system in August to run a new, unspecified healthcare company for General Catalyst. Dr. Stephen Klasko, former CEO of Jefferson, joined General Catalyst in February as an executive in residence.
“We want change to spread across broader healthcare, but it’s a challenging effort and requires deep collaborative work,” Tol said. “We’ve chosen to work with a small number -- up to 15 systems -- so that we can focus work, measure impact, communicate and begin to scale activities that have real potential.”
Hackensack is increasingly looking to collaborate with other companies, in and outside the industry, to weather significant increases in staffing costs and other financial headwinds. The health system recently formed a partnership with Medically Home and will build on its affiliation with Google Cloud.
Medically Home, a Boston-based company that helps set up the technology for hospital-at-home programs, received a $100 million investment last year from Rochester, Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic and Oakland, California-based Kaiser Permanente. Hackensack launched a hospital-at-home pilot program in Edison, New Jersey, in February via the Medicare waiver. Medically Home will help Hackensack set up the infrastructure to expand home hospital care across its system, Garrett said.
Hackensack also is entering the next iteration of its partnership with Google Cloud.
The health system plans to house all its software, including its electronic health record and enterprise resource planning system, on Google Cloud. Hackensack could leverage Google Cloud to automate and improve the intake and discharge process, boost predictive care, coordinate virtual nursing care and advance genomic testing, said Kash Patel, chief information and digital engagement officer at Hackensack.
“The vision forward is thinking about interoperability and true transformation as the world of research grows and complicated areas like genomic testing becomes more sophisticated,” he said. “Google Cloud will allow us to seamlessly integrate solutions so we can improve the patient journey.”