12 Sep Equity firm invests $200 million to launch Nashville oncology company
Three oncology practices from across the country have joined forces with a private investor and tech firm to launch a separate Nashville-headquartered company.
Connecticut-based General Atlantic has invested $200 million to launch OneOncology, a company designed to help community oncology practices with technology, data, research and innovation by leveraging its scale. Nashville-based Tennessee Oncology, New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, Memphis-based West Cancer Center and software firm Flatiron Health are also investors in the startup, according toTennessee Oncology CEO Dr. Jeff Patton.
OneOncology expects to hire more than 60 employees in the next year, Patton said, to add to its current workforce of 20 employees in the downtown WeWork space. The company is in the market for permanent office space.
The idea for OneOncology was hatched about 18 months ago, when Tennessee Oncology began using Flatiron for its electronic health records. In the age of value-based care, which ties reimbursement rates to the quality of care provided, Patton said it’s essential to have technologies that can share patient and business data. He also said that as the oncology market continues to consolidate, it’s important that independent oncologists have a national network to compete against larger players.
“I view this as both an offensive and defensive move: offensive in that we are the founding member of an exciting company, but it’s defensive in that we need to prepare for value-based care, and despite the size, scale and market share of Tennessee Oncology, we don’t think long-term we can go it alone,” Patton said. “In the value-based world, it’s really he who manages patients well through information technology who is going to be most likely to succeed.”
Former CVS vice president Tracy Bahl will be OneOncology’s president and CEO. In a news release, Bahl said the company hopes to transform the model of cancer care.
“Cancer is increasingly being treated like a chronic condition rather than a terminal diagnosis. Working together with world-class oncologists, we will drive the change that community cancer needs through continual learning, creative and smart evolution, and a collective desire to positively impact the lives of every person touched by cancer,” Bahl said.
Patton’s job will be recruiting more practices to join the network, he said. The three founding practices have more than 60 facilities treating almost 158,000 patients a year. Tennessee Oncology has more than 1,000 employees with 32 locations in Tennessee.
General Atlantic’s $200 million investment will be used for startup costs, improving the oncology practices’ existing infrastructures and strengthening their existing services.
“The goal is to enhance what these practices are already doing,” Patton said. “This is really a way for us to continue business as usual … and not be swallowed up by a payor or health system.”