Aequitas Partners
Q3 2018 > VOLUME 4

Q2 was one for the books! The first annual installment of HLTH was a resounding success, here in NYC Roche successfully completed its acquisition of Flatiron Health, Dr. Atul Gawande was named CEO of the much-hyped JPMorgan-Amazon-Berkshire Hathaway venture, and we welcomed 5 new clients to the Aequitas Family. This quarter, we sat down with David Gelbard, Founder & CEO of Parachute Health, to talk about how they are transforming the DME space with technology, and I also opined a bit about some of the opportunities in the post acute care space. Our colleagues, Steven Berman & Nina Mermelstein, unpack Company Culture and how we think about it here, and it’s a great read. We had a lot of fun with this one, and as always, we love your feedback. Happy Reading!

— Tim Gordon, Founder & Managing Partner

An Interview With David Gelbard,
Founder & CEO of Parachute Health

Interview with Parachute Health

David Gelbard is the Founder and CEO of Parachute Health, a New York City based healthcare technology company aiming to digitize the post-acute durable medical equipment (DME) space. They recently raised a fresh round of funding, led by Insight Venture Partners, and we sat down with David to talk about his efforts to drag healthcare kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.

Tim: Like many founders in Healthcare, your entrepreneurial story begins with a personal one, so why don’t you tell us a little bit about why you started Parachute in the first place?

David: About 4 years ago, my dad, when he was 78, ended up going to the hospital for life-saving spinal surgery. The surgery was a success and it was a really wonderful day. Unfortunately, upon arriving home the walker that was supposed to arrive never got there. The hospital sent the order across via fax to the equipment supplier and it never actually got to the house. My father ended up falling; 4 years later he still goes to rehab because of the fall, still trying to fix what’s going on, but it’s just like… when you call back into the hospital and ask them why they screwed up, they just say, “well we faxed it.” For something like an oxygen tank, a walker, a wheelchair – things that you need for day-to-day living – it’s just insane to think we’re still using methods of communication like a fax machine in 2018.

At that moment I just felt that it was such an awful thing, an emotional rollercoaster for me and my family. I had a friend’s wedding that weekend that I didn’t go to – my sister had told me it may be the last weekend with our dad. And for him to get through surgery and then fall, it put a bad spin on such a wonderful thing that he had made it through.

So the company was created to make sure that this never happens again, to any family. The concept of a more efficient means of ordering DME – it’s just a no-brainer – it should happen. It’s a real problem that needs to get fixed.


Cracking the Code:

How Growth-Stage Companies Can
Build Strong Cultural Foundations

By: Steven Berman & Nina Mermelstein
Primary Care: Rebuilding the Gateway to Our Healthcare System

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘company culture’ a million times. We know what it means; or at least we think we know. But when something is repeated so often it can be tough to cut through the clutter, escape the platitudes, and unpack exactly what needs to get done and the roadmap for how to get there.

Here at Aequitas, we often partner with founders during their initial growth-stage, and at no point in a company’s lifecycle is the establishment of a strong cultural foundation more important. The values and principles that growth-stage startups adopt will inform their worldview and decision-making for years to come. And given how few employees there are, each new hire plays a vital role in shaping the culture of growth-stage companies; the #4 employee has a much greater impact on the long-term sustainability of company culture than the #40 employee does.

Because culture is so integral to the success of growth-stage companies, we thought we’d delve into what founders can do to create and nurture strong cultural foundations. Below is a three-step process for establishing a lasting cultural blueprint.


Big Problems, Even Bigger Opportunity:

What Has to be Done About Post-Acute Care

By: Tim Gordon
Big Problems, Even Bigger Opportunity

Perhaps no sector of healthcare is more rife with challenges and opportunities than long-term, post-acute care. The common denominator that one finds when examining the post-acute care landscape is inefficiency. Everywhere you look, things are being done like it’s the 1990s. Phone-tag with patients, faxes to suppliers, manual data entry… how much time and money, and how many positive outcomes for patients are drowning in this archaic system?

Substandard treatment and inadequate monitoring lead to operational delays, which results in huge numbers of adverse and temporary-harm events for patients – the majority of them preventable – according to a March 2014 Office of Inspector General report. The reality is, too many hospitals and emergency rooms treat discharged patients like they are out of the system; an approach that contributes to a revolving door of patient readmissions every single year, which is both damaging to patient health and costly for acute-care hospitals, which remain by far the most expensive site of care, at an average of $2,882 per day.

It’s time for a change.


AQP Journal

We happened to be in the middle of this one just days before Dr. Gawande was announced as the CEO of the JPMorgan/Berkshire/Amazon venture. Thought-provoking and heartfelt, this one is at the top of our summer reading list.
Being Mortal
23 % decline in Seed stage digital health investments in 1H 2018
60 Disclosed Digital Health M&A deals in 1H 2018
193 Digital Health funding
deals totaling nearly
$3.4B in 1H 2018
Aequitas Partners
New York, New York