Featuring purpose-driven leaders who are making a meaningful impact in their communities, industries, and around the world.
TELL US, WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
I serve as the chief executive officer of Paladina Health, one of the country’s largest providers of direct primary care (DPC). DPC enables employers to improve the health outcomes of their employees by offering on-site and near-site health clinics, 24/7 access to physicians that reduce ER visits, and a proactive approach to managing chronic conditions, many of which disproportionately affect underserved populations. Further, the DPC model creates a value-based approach to primary care. Our primary care physicians serve smaller panels, which provides the time and incentive for them to provide quality care; this alignment does not exist in the fee-for-service world.
We believe that the healthcare system is broken and that widespread adoption of direct primary care will help transform the healthcare system in the United States.
HOW DID YOU GET HERE?
I grew up in small-town Ohio in a philanthropic family, and I got the entrepreneurial bug early. I started a company in college, worked in finance and venture capital, and have now spent the past 16 years leading multi-site healthcare services companies that focus on mission and values.
Prior to joining Paladina Health as CEO in 2015, I founded and served as the chief executive officer and managing director of Trumpet Behavioral Health, an evidence-based, outcomes-focused company servicing individuals with autism and developmental disabilities. At Trumpet I had the opportunity to develop a culture of cross-functional integration and performance measurement that became the catalyst for significant team member growth and both organic and inorganic expansion.
From 2005 to 2008, I served as the president of ResponseLink, a healthcare company providing products and services to facilitate home living for seniors. I led the acquisition of ResponseLink in Pacific Pulmonary and built the executive team while delivering substantial revenue growth for the organization.
I’ve served on numerous boards and currently serve as director for the nonprofit organization Let Colorado Vote, a nonpartisan organization created to increase voter access, engagement, and participation in Colorado elections.
WHAT DO YOU STAND FOR? WHY DOES THE WORLD NEED YOU?
I believe in doing work that has a measurable impact on human lives. This is what fuels our day-to-day operations at Paladina Health. We are utilizing state-of-the-art technology and population health management tools to empower healthcare providers to serve patients in a way that departs radically from the norm. I am passionate about delivering superior value and care to patients for their longterm health and well-being, and direct primary care is a way to do just that. Further, it is critical for me to be part of mission and values-driven companies and cultures that allow teammates to thrive by helping other people.
WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
We are achieving significant results through the triple aim of healthcare: patient satisfaction, patient outcomes, and cost savings. Within our direct primary care clinics, we are able to meet up to 90 percent of patients’ healthcare needs under one roof through one care team for a flat monthly fee paid by employers. This leads to satisfied patients (our Net Promoter Score is currently 82, which is considered world-class), superior health outcomes (we are in the 75th percentile or above for tracked HEDIS measures) and substantial cost savings (we are currently delivering an ROI of $1.85 for every $1 spent by our clients).
As the direct primary care model gains steam, we continue to expand our footprint across the United States. We are currently serving more than 200,000 patients across 132 locations in 20 states. We have a wide range of clients, including small businesses, labor unions, state governments, municipalities, and Fortune 500 corporations.
WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO DO THIS WORK?
As mentioned previously, I was fortunate to be raised in a modest, rural family that focused on giving back. Therefore, mission and values have always been important to me. However, as my career evolved, it has been my teammates who inspire me. I have had great success in hiring teammates who are hungry, humble, and smart. The cultures that develop as a result of these hires have helped to transform healthcare, impacting many lives. Patient and client testimonials provide great satisfaction and inspire us to work even harder.
WHAT’S YOUR VISION, YOUR BIG DREAM, FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
We want to fundamentally transform the way that healthcare is delivered in America. Our current healthcare system is broken, and everyday Americans along with employers (who are tasked with providing healthcare coverage) are left to pay the bill. By aligning financial incentives with health outcomes and empowering physicians to practice medicine in a way that supports the patient-provider relationship, I believe that we can offer a better way that stands as a radical alternative to the dysfunction that we see across the healthcare industry right now. Primary care will be the gateway to better health outcomes, increased patient satisfaction, and cost savings across the country.
WHAT CHALLENGES ARE YOU FACING?
First, we are challenged with helping employers and patients understand how this model of care works. It is very different from the average healthcare experience, and we are often given the feedback that the service we offer sounds “too good to be true.” Our most vocal advocates tend to be people who have received care from a Paladina Health provider and experienced what we are offering firsthand.
We are also working against government regulations that restrict access to the direct primary care model. Due to outdated IRS regulations, some 23 million Americans with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) cannot use a DPC provider. Bipartisan legislation in progress known as The Primary Care Enhancement Act clarifies the tax code, defining DPC as a qualified health expense and not a health plan, allowing all Americans with HSAs better access to great, affordable primary care.
And of course, we are facing the monumental challenge of delivering quality care in the midst of a global pandemic. We have found ways to adapt, shifting many of our appointments to a virtual format via phone and video visits. We have also leveraged our population health analytics tools to conduct proactive outreach to patients at high risk of developing complications as a result of COVID-19, ensuring they are taking every precaution to stay well. Additionally, through our newly-developed Return to Work program, we serve as strategic partners to clients nationwide to facilitate a safe and efficient return to offices and worksites during the pandemic.
HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
Everyone deserves better healthcare, so I encourage people to explore options that provide better access to providers. I also encourage people to learn more about the work we’re doing at paladinahealth.com. Finally, I ask that people contact their Senators or members of Congress to support legislation that removes the barriers to accessing Direct Primary Care. Thank you!
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