Tech companies see dollar signs in healthcare reform

Encouraged by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, conservatives have blasted the Democrats' healthcare law as a business-killing threat to the national economy. But don't tell that to Silicon Valley.

Information technology firms are lining up to reap the benefits of a $10 billion provision of the reform law designed to cut costs and improve care by incentivizing innovative new tech products, the San Jose Mercury News reports

"The law, for all its complexity, provided investors and entrepreneurs with greater clarity about opportunities in an industry facing dramatic transformation," Scott Duke Harris wrote. 

And those opportunities have arrived quickly. 

"During the second quarter," Harris noted, "investments totaling more than $2.2 billion surged into biotechnology, medical device and health-related information technology, about 66 percent above the previous quarter. Funding into health-related information technology alone totaled more than $150 million during the quarter, nearly doubling the year-ago quarter."

Some young companies see the new law as an opportunity to shift the focus of medical care away from a strategy of simply treating diseases to one of preventing them, Harris writes. 

SeeChange Health, for instance, a San Francisco-based insurer that emphasizes preventive care, had gotten the cold shoulder from many hospitals leery of its business strategy, the company's CEO told Harris. 

"But since the adoption of the health reform law, [the CEO] said, SeeChange has received a warmer reception as institutions prepare for changes to come," Harris wrote.