Physician Enablement Validation, AMZN/ONEM In Three Notes

In January 2021 Nephron Research coined the term “Physician Enablement” to describe the evolution of care management that would put the physician, and specifically the primary care physician, at the center of the ecosystem. We went so far as to suggest that the market was missing what could be “an investment opportunity in healthcare services not seen in decades.”  Just last week, the team updated their thesis as Physician Enablement moved into the second inning.  Almost immediately, the market granted some early validation in the form of Amazon’s announced acquisition of ONEM yesterday.  The introduction to last week’s piece began with:

“Let’s face it, healthcare in the US is not optimally structured.” We spoke about the abrasion in the healthcare system that was leading to a new industry to form to better coordinate the healthcare system. We warned that failures of the past would lead to “Over the next decade we believe that many health insurers will simply become financing mechanisms for the delivery of healthcare (think life insurers), moving out of the way for physician enablement companies to manage the actual health of Americans.”

It is conceivable that this process took two steps forward yesterday.  In a very terse press release Amazon focused squarely on the fact that the system isn’t working well, noting “We think health care is high on the list of experiences that need reinvention.”

True to the depth of Nephron analysis, the team built on its substantial thematic report with not one, but THREE separate notes to clients yesterday.  The team’s work focused on the thematic context for the deal, its potential impact on valuations in the physician enablement space,  as well as potential impacts for digital health and pharmacy:

  • Physician Enablement First Shoe Drops, Out of Left Field; Amazon Acquires ONEM
  • AMZN/ONEM Note #2: What Does This Say About Valuations?
  • AMZN/ONEM Note #3: What Does this Say About Digital Health & Pharmacy?

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