KICventures Opens Health and Technology Fund I, LP to Raise $250 M to Build a Global Outpatient Health System Called the LESS Institute, Focused on Outpatient Treatment
The shift towards smaller health centers, such as the Cancer Treatment Center of America, are examples of the deconstruction of the traditional hospital as we know it. Is orthopedics and spine surgery next in this move from hospital to outpatient? Harvard-Trained Orthopedic Spine Surgeon, Entrepreneur and CEO of KICVentures, Dr. Kingsley R. Chin says “yes.” He has the track record and published papers to prove it.
He also states “I took inspiration from Dr. Sidney Garfield, the founding surgeon of Kaiser Permanente, to embark on a bold mission to create outpatient orthopedic and spine surgery centers of excellence in major cities worldwide. As the medical field transitions to more outpatient focused treatments and digital health platforms to connect doctors and patients, Kaiser Permanente’s success is admirable but their focus on the traditional hospital model is becoming outdated. I founded KICVentures in 2005 with the goal of revolutionizing the Kaiser model into an outpatient center model on a global scale. We are now emboldened by our successes over the past ten years of deploying over $190 M to fund the current portfolio of companies in our ecosystem. Raising this new $250 M fund will provide us with tremendous abilities to execute boldly.”
The foundations of Kaiser Permanente began in 1933, when a young surgeon, Dr. Sidney Garfield was put in charge of a 12-bed hospital in the middle of the Mojave Desert, and called upon to care for workers injured while building the Colorado Aqueduct. His hospital was soon nearly bankrupt, as Garfield refused to turn away anyone who needed treatment, regardless of their ability to pay.
The solution that Garfield and his business partners devised was to take a small portion of each worker’s daily salary and put it into a pool that would then pay for medical procedures as needed. This practice is now known as prepayment. Garfield saw such success with this practice that he was soon approached by businessman Henry J. Kaiser, and the two created a partnership that would change the face of healthcare forever.
Garfield and Kaiser proposed what was, at the time, a radical new approach to providing healthcare: combining prepayment for services with group practices. It created networks of practicing physicians who were still free to practice independently, and were reimbursed from the fees paid by subscribers. The result was known as Kaiser Permanente, and it lives on to this day.
The Kaiser Permanente model features networks of physicians and affiliated hospitals, and a large insurance pool of patients. Patients in this pool pay a subscriber fee, and physicians are compensated from this revenue stream. From its inception, it has revolutionized healthcare by controlling costs and encouraging preventative, rather than reactionary care.
“Dr. Garfield's story is a reminder to think long term in our mission to create an outpatient healthcare ecosystem,” Dr. Chin said. “Today, the surgeon is still a key player in any comprehensive healthcare system, and being a practicing surgeon like Dr. Garfield, I am right at the patient's side, understand their changing needs. I have the opportunity to apply targeted solutions that can be tested and developed over time with financial means. KICVentures also has the advantage of being self-funded”, says Chin. “We do not need a Henry Kaiser to validate us. We have proved this model with LESS Institute in Florida since 2008 and have invested our own money to grow this model to five locations, from Miami to Orlando. This is all backed with multiple symbiotic companies developing the ecosystem into an outpatient health system.”
There are several key differences between the Kaiser model and the one employed by KICVentures and LESS Institute. Rather than relying on hospitals for inpatient procedures, LESS Institute focuses on less invasive outpatient procedures that cost less and have shorter recovery times. This was not possible until recently. New implant technologies and techniques have made tedious procedures much simpler. “KICVentures’ own medical device companies, SpineFrontier, Inc and Axiomed, LLC are both positioned to lead the industry with cutting edge outpatient technologies for surgeons in the LESS Institute network,” states Chin.
KICVentures has a 21st Century focus on the transformative benefits of digital healthcare. One of their other companies, Less Institute Online, provides a web-based software platform for doctors and patients to connect, share findings, and book appointments seamlessly. This means if you are a patient anywhere in the world with access to the internet you can access a surgeon in our network. This empowers patients, providing a high standard of care under one brand.
Aditya Humad, CFO of KICVentures comments “In 2015, Kaiser Permanente performed over 140,000 surgeries and generated over $60 B in revenues. In addition to patience and the highest level of passion, we care more than any other company to realize this vision over the long term. After deploying $190 M in the last 10 years, we are now launching our new KICVentures Health and Technology Fund I, LP to raise $250 M to invest over the next ten years to grow the portfolio.”
About LESS Institute
The Less Exposure Surgery Specialists (LESS) Institute is an academic center of excellence which provides outpatient treatment for spine and orthopedics. The LESS Institute’s mission is to tailor treatment to each patient, to pinpoint the problem, fix it and let the patient go home the same day to recover quickly. It was founded by Harvard-trained, orthopedic spine surgeon and professor, Kingsley R. Chin MD, based on a new philosophy of Less Exposure Surgery utilizing the least invasive techniques and technologies to achieve the quickest and best outcomes.
KICVentures is an investment holding company that creates, invests and manages several portfolio companies in the health-tech sector.